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The Story of the Philippines and Our New Possessions, by Murat Halstead

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My first point in talking with Aguinaldo was that the people of
the Philippines ought to be strongly represented in Paris, and of
the reasons briefly presented, the foremost was that they sought
independence, and should be heard before the commission by which
their fate would be declared for the present, so far as it could
be, by a tribunal whose work was subject to revision. The general's
information was that the Paris conference would be opened September
15, an error of a fortnight, and his impression was that the terms
regarding the Philippines would be speedily settled, so that there
could not be time to send to Paris, but there had been a determination
reached to have a man in Washington.

It is to be taken into account that this interview was before anything
had been made known as to the mission which General Merritt undertook,
and that in a few days he set forth to perform, and that the terms
of the protocol had not been entirely published in Manila. I told
the general it was not possible that the Philippine problem could
speedily be solved, and made known to him that the transport China,
which holds the record of quick passage on the Pacific, was to sail
for San Francisco in three days, and he would do well to have his men
for Washington and Paris go on her if permission could be obtained,
as there was no doubt it could, and I mentioned the time required to
reach Washington and Paris--that one could be on a trans-Atlantic
steamer in New York six hours after leaving Washington, that the
Philippine commissioners going to Paris should make it a point to
see the President on the way, and the whole matter one of urgency,
but it was certainly not too late to act.

The General said it had been thought a representative of the islands
and of the cause of the people should go to Washington, but the man
was in Hongkong. He could, however, be telegraphed, so that he could
catch the China at Nagasaka, Japan, where she would have to stop two
days to take coal. The Washington commissioner might go to Paris, but
instructions could not reach him before he left Hongkong, as it would
not be desirable to telegraph them. Upon this I stated if it suited
his convenience and he would send instructions by me, I was going on
the China, and would charge myself with the special confidential care
of his dispatches and deliver them to the commissioner at the coaling
station, when he should join the ship; and if it was the desire of
the General to have it done I would telegraph the President that
Philippine commissioners were on the way. These suggestions were
received as if they were agreeable, and esteemed of value.

The conversation turned at this point to the main question of the
future government of the Philippines, and I inquired what would
be satisfactory to the General, and got, of course, the answer,
"Philippine independence." But I said after the United States had sent
a fleet and destroyed the Spanish fleet and an army in full possession
of Manila she was a power that could not be ignored; and what would be
thought of her assuming the prerogative of Protector? She could not
escape responsibility. His views as to the exact line of demarkation
or distinction between the rights of the United States and those of
the people of the islands should be perfectly clear, for otherwise
there would be confusion and possibly contention in greater matters
than now caused friction.

I endeavored to indicate the idea that there might be an adjustment on
the line that the people of the Philippines could manage their local
matters in their own way, leaving to the United States imperial
affairs, the things international and all that affected them,
the Filipinos looking to the administration of localities. I had
asked questions and stated propositions as if it were the universal
consent that General Aguinaldo was the dictator for his people and
had the executive word to say; but when it came to drawing the fine
lines of his relations with the United States as the embodiment of a
revolutionary movement, he became shy and referred to those who had
to be consulted.

His words were equivalent to saying his counselors must, in all matters
of moment, be introduced. It came to the same thing at last as to his
commissioner or commissioners to Washington or Paris, one or both, and
he also asserted the purpose of having the congress elected assemble at
a railroad town--Moroles, about fifty miles north of Manila--a movement
it is understood that is under the guidance of others than the General,
the bottom fact being that if there should be a Philippine Republic
Aguinaldo's place, in the judgment of many who are for it, would be
not that of chief magistrate, but the head of the army. There are
others and many of them of the opinion that he is not a qualified
soldier. The congress assembled at Moroles, and has made slow progress.

It may as well be remembered, however, that the distinctions of civil
and military power have been always hard to observe, in Central and
South American states, whose early Spanish education has been outgrown
gradually, and with halting and bloody steps. General Aguinaldo, then
engaged in evolving a letter to General Merritt, has since issued
proclamations that yield no share to the United States in the native
government of the islands. But there are two things definitely known,
as if decreed in official papers, and probably more so; that the
Filipinos of influential intelligence would be satisfied with the
direction of local affairs and gladly accept the protectorate of the
United States on the terms which the people of the United States may
desire and dictate.

The greater matter is that whenever it is the fixed policy of
the United States to accept the full responsibility of ruling the
Philippines, neither Aguinaldo nor any other man of the islands
would have the ability to molest the steady, peaceable, beneficent
development of the potentiality of our system of justice to the people,
and the preservation by and through the popular will of the union
of liberty under the law, and order maintained peaceably or forcibly
according to needs.

In continuation of his explanation that he had to refer matters
to others called his counselors, disclaiming the presumption in my
questions of his personal responsibility for the conduct of the native
insurrection, General Aguinaldo said with the greatest deliberation
and the softest emphasis of any of his sayings, that the insurgents
were already suspicious of him as one who was too close a friend
of the Americans, and yielded too much to them, and that there was
danger this feeling might grow and make way with his ability to do
all that he would like in the way of keeping the peace. There were,
he said, inquiries to the effect: What had the insurgents got for
what they had done in the capture of Manila? Were they not treated
by the Americans with indifference?

Major Bell interposed to say that the Americans were in the Philippines
not as politicians, but as soldiers, and had the duty of preserving
order by military occupation, and it was not possible there could
be maintained a double military authority--two generals of equal
powers in one city under martial law. There must be one master and
no discussion. The United States could take no secondary attitude
or position--would treat the insurgents with great consideration,
but they of necessity were exclusively responsible for the carrying
out of the provisions of the capitulation.

This was exactly to the point, and the interpreter cut his rendering
of it, using but few words, and they did not cheer up the General
and those about him. Evidently they want to know when and where
they realize. It had been noticeable that the greater importance
Aguinaldo attaches to what he is saying the lower his voice and the
more certainly he speaks in a half whisper with parted lips, show-in
teeth and tongue; and he has a surprising faculty of talking with
the tip of his tongue, extended a very little beyond his lips. There
was something so reserved as to be furtive about his mouth, but his
eyes were keen, straight and steady, showing decision, but guarding
what he regarded the niceties of statement. However, his meaning that
there were insurgents who were finding fault with him was not so much
indicative of a rugged issue as a confession of impending inabilities.

He had nothing to say in response to Major Bell's explicit remark
about the one-man and one-country military power, but the action of
the insurgents in removing their headquarters--or their capital, as
they call it--to a point forty miles from Manila, proves that they
have come to an understanding that the soldiers of the United States
are not in the Philippines for their health entirely, or purely in
the interest of universal benevolence. The Filipinos must know, too,
that they could never themselves have captured Manila. It is not
inapt to say that the real center of the rebellion against Spain is,
as it has been for years, at Hongkong.

I reserved what seemed the most interesting question of the interview
with the Philippine leader to the last. It was whether a condition
of pacification was the expulsion of the Catholic priests as a
class. This was presented with reference to the threats that had
been made in my hearing that the priests must go or die, for they
were the breeders of all trouble. Must all of them be removed in
some way or another? If not, where would the line be drawn? The
lips of the General were parted and his voice quite low and gentle,
the tongue to a remarkable degree doing the talking, as he replied,
plainly picking words cautiously and measuring them. The able and
acute interpreter dealt them out rapidly, and his rendering gave
token that the Filipinos have already had lessons in diplomacy--even
in the Spanish style of polite prevarication--or, if that may be a
shade too strong, let us say elusive reservation--the use of language
that is more shady than silence, the framing of phrases that may
be interpreted so as not to close but to continue discussion and
leave wide fields for controversy. The General did not refer to his
counselors, or the congress that is in the background and advertised
as if it were a new force.

The words of the interpreter for him were:

"The General says the priests to whom objection is made, and with whom
we have a mortal quarrel, are not our own priests, but the Spaniards'
and those of the orders. We respect the Catholic church. We respect
our own priests, and, if they are friends of our country, will protect
them. Our war is not upon the Catholic church, but upon the friars,
who have been the most cruel enemies. We cannot have them here. They
must go away. Let them go to Spain. We are willing that they may go
to their own country. We do not want them. There is no peace until
they go."

I said my information was that the objectionable Orders expressly
proscribed by the insurgents were the Dominicans, Augustines,
Franciscans and Recollects, but that the Jesuits were not
included. This was fully recited to the General, and with his eyes
closing and his mouth whispering close to the interpreter's cheek he
gave his answer, and it was quickly rendered:

"The Jesuits, too, must go. They also are our enemies. We do not want
them. They betray. They can go to Spain. They may be wanted there,
not here; but not here, not here."

The question whether the friars must make choice between departure and
death was not met directly, but with repetitions--that they might be at
home in Spain, but could not be a part of the independent Philippines;
and, significantly, they should be willing to go when wanted, and
would be. Two Catholic priests--Americans, not Spaniards--were at this
moment waiting in the ante room, to ask permission for the priests
Aguinaldo has in prison to go back to Spain, and the General could
not give an answer until he had consulted his council. Probably he
would not dare to part with the priests, and an order from him would
be disregarded. They have many chances of martyrdom, and some of them
have already suffered mutilation.

Something had been said about my cabling the President as to the
Filipinos' determination to send a representative to Paris, and I had
tendered my good offices in bearing instructions to a commissioner from
Hongkong to meet the China at Nagasaki, the Japanese railway station,
where the American transports coal for their long voyage across the
Pacific. But that matter had been left in the air. General Aguinaldo
had said he would be obliged if I would telegraph the President,
and I thought if the decision was that there was to be a Philippine
representative hurried to Paris, it was something the President would
be glad to know. I was aware there might be a difficulty in getting
permission for a special messenger to go on the China to Japan to
meet the commissioners going from Hongkong, and I would be willing
to make the connection, as I had offered the suggestion. But it was
necessary to be absolutely certain of General Aguinaldo's decision
before I could cable the President; therefore, as I was, of course,
in an official sense wholly irresponsible, I could communicate with
him without an abrasion of military or other etiquette. It was the
more needful, as it would be a personal proceeding, that I should be
sure of the facts. Therefore I asked the General, whose time I had
occupied more than an hour, whether he authorized me to telegraph
the President that a commission was going to Paris, and desired me
to render any aid in conveying information.

The General was troubled about the word "authorized," and instead of
saying so concluded that I must have a deep and possibly dark design
and so he could not give me the trouble to cable. The assurance that
it would not be troublesome did not remove the disquiet. I could not
be troubled, either, as a bearer of dispatches. The General could
not authorize a telegram without consulting. In truth, the General
had not made up his mind to be represented in Paris, holding that it
would be sufficient to have an envoy extraordinary in Washington.

Others, without full consideration, in my opinion, concur in
this view. I can imagine several situations at Paris in which a
representative Filipino would be of service to the United States,
simply by standing for the existence of a state of facts in the
disputed islands. I dropped the matter of being a mediator, having
planted the Paris idea in the mind of the Philippine leader, who is of
the persuasion that he is the dictator of his countrymen, for the sake
of his country, until he wishes to be evasive, and then he must consult
others who share the burdens of authority, and told him when taking
my leave I would like to possess a photograph with his autograph and
the Philippine flag. In a few minutes the articles were in my hands,
and passing out, there were the American priests in the ante-room,
the next callers to enter the General's apartment. Their business was
to urge him to permit the Catholic priests held as prisoners by the
insurgents--more than 100, perhaps nearly 200 in number--to go home.

When the news came that General Merritt had been ordered to Paris, and
would pass through the Red sea en route, taking the China to Hongkong
to catch a peninsular and oriental steamer, I telegraphed the fact to
General Aguinaldo over our military wires and his special wire, and
his commissioner, duly advised, became, with General Merritt's aid,
at Hongkong a passenger on the China.

He is well known to the world as Senor Filipe Agoncillo, who visited
Washington City, saw the President and proceeded to Paris.


The Philippine Mission.

Correspondence With Aguinaldo About It--Notes by Senor Felipe
Agoncillo--Relations Between Admiral Dewey and Senor Aguinaldo--Terms
of Peace Made by Spanish Governor-General with Insurgents, December,
1897--Law Suit Between Aguinaldo and Artacho--Aguinaldo's Proclamation
of May 24, 1898.

When General Merritt decided to hold the China for a day to take
him to Hongkong on the way to Paris, I telegraphed Aguinaldo of the
movements of the ship, arid received this dispatch from the General:

"War Department, United States Volunteer Signal Corps, sent from
Bakoor August 29, 1898.--To Mr. Murat Halstead, Hotel Oriente, Manila:
Thankful for your announcing China's departure. We are to send a person
by her if possible, whom I recommend to you. Being much obliged for
the favor.

"_A. G. Escamilla_," "Private Secretary to General Aguinaldo."

On the same day the General sent the following personal letter:

"Dear Sir: The bearer, Dr. G. Apacible, is the person whom was
announced to you in the telegram.

"I am desirous of sending him to Hongkong, if possible, by the China,
recommending him at the same time to your care and good will. Thanking
you for the favor, I'm respectfully yours,

_Emilio Aguinaldo y Famy_.

"Mr. Murat Halstead, Manila.

"Bakoor, 29th August, 1898."

General Aguinaldo proceeded vigorously to make use of his knowledge
that the China would go to Hongkong for General Merritt and sent his
secretary and others to me at the Hotel Oriente, but they arrived
after I had left the house. They came to the China and General Merritt
had not arrived and did not appear until within a few minutes of
the start. Then the deputation from the insurgent chieftain had an
interview with him, asking that two of their number should go to
Hongkong on the China to express fully the views of the insurgent
government to to the commissioner, Don Felipe Agoncillo, chosen to
represent the Filipinos at Washington and Paris and to ask that he be
allowed to go to the United States on the China. When the committee saw
General Merritt he was taking leave of Admiral Dewey, and the General,
who had not heard of this movement until that moment--the question
being entirely new--invited the opinion of the Admiral, who said there
was "certainly no objection," and on the contrary, it would be very
well to permit the passage of the deputation to Hongkong and of the
commissioner appointed from that city to Washington. General Merritt
at once in half a dozen words gave the order, and the journey began.

General Greene, who reads and translates Spanish with facility
and whose Spanish speech is plain, treated with marked courtesy
the Filipino committee to Hongkong and thence the commissioner
and his secretary from Hongkong to San Francisco, on the way to
Washington and Paris. General Greene, while according distinction
to the representatives of the insurgents, stated to them that his
attentions were personal and he could not warrant them official
recognition at Washington or anything more than such politeness as
gentlemen receive from each other. The commissioner was Don Felipe
Agoncillo, and his secretary, Sixto Lopez.

Saturday, September 24, the Salt Lake newspapers contained stories to
the effect that the Germans had entered into an alliance offensive and
defensive with the Aguinaldo government and would furnish equipments
for an army of 150,000 men. We were on the Union Pacific Railroad at
the time, and I called the attention of Don Felipe Agoncillo to this
remarkable intelligence and asked him what he thought of it. He said
emphatically that it was "Nothing," "No true," "Nothing at all,"
and he laughed at the comic idea. There was also in the Salt Lake
newspapers a statement that the Aguinaldo 'government' had sent
to President McKinley a letter strongly expressing good-will and
gratitude. There did not seem to be much news in this for Don Felipe,
but it gave him much pleasure, and he, not perhaps diplomatically
but enthusiastically, pronounced it good.

_What Agoncillo Approved_.

The dispatch marked with his approbation by the Philippine commissioner
was the following from Washington, under date of September 23:

"The President doubtless would be glad to hear any views these
Filipinos might care to set forth, being fresh from the islands and
thoroughly acquainted with the wishes of the insurgents. But it would
be plainly impolitic and inconsistent for the President, at this
date and pending the conclusion of the peace conference at Paris,
to allow it to be understood, by according a formal reception to the
delegates, that he had thereby recognized the Philippine government
as an independent nationality. His attitude toward the Filipinos
would be similar to that assumed by him toward the Cubans. As the
Filipinos have repeatedly, by public declaration, sought to convey
the impression that the United States representatives in Manila have
at some time during the progress of the war recognized Aguinaldo as
an independent ally, and entered into formal co-operation with him,
it may be stated that the government at Washington is unaware that
any such thing has happened. Admiral Dewey, who was in command of all
the United States forces during the most critical period, expressly
cabled the Secretary of the Navy that he had entered into no formal
agreement with Aguinaldo. If General Otis followed his instructions,
and of that there can be no doubt, he also refrained from entering
into any entangling agreements. As for Consul-General Wildman, any
undertaking he may have assumed with Aguinaldo must have been upon
his own personal and individual responsibility, and would be without
formal standing, inasmuch as he has not the express authorization
from the State Department absolutely requisite to negotiations in such
cases. Therefore, as the case now stands, the peace commissioners are
free to deal with the Philippine problem at Paris absolutely without
restraint beyond that which might be supposed to rise from a sense
of moral obligation to avoid committing the Filipinos again into the
hands of their late rulers."

Senor Agoncillo, the commissioner of the Philippine insurgents at
Paris, made, in conversations on the steamer China, when crossing
the Pacific Ocean from "Nagasaka to San Francisco, this statement in
vindication of Aguinaldo, and it is the most complete, authoritative
and careful that exists of the relations between Admiral Dewey and
the insurgent leader:

_Brief Notes By Senor Agoncillo_.

"On the same day that Admiral Dewey arrived at Hongkong Senor
Aguinaldo was in Singapore, whither he had gone from Hongkong, and
Mr. Pratt, United States Consul-General, under instructions from the
said Admiral, held a conference with him, in which it was agreed that
Senor Aguinaldo and other revolutionary chiefs in co-operation with the
American squadron should return to take up arms against the Spanish
government of the Philippines, the sole and most laudable desire of
the Washington government being to concede to the Philippine people
absolute independence as soon as the victory against the Spanish arms
should be obtained.

"By virtue of this argument Senor Aguinaldo proceeded by the first
steamer to Hongkong for the express purpose of embarking on the Olympia
and going to Manila; but this intention of his was not realized,
because the American squadron left Hongkong the day previous to
his arrival, Admiral Dewey having received from his government an
order to proceed immediately to Manila. This is what Mr. Wildman,
United States Consul-General in Hongkong, said to Senor Aguinaldo
in the interview which took place between them. A few days after the
Spanish squadron had been totally destroyed in the Bay of Manila by
the American squadron, the latter obtaining a most glorious triumph,
which deserved the fullest congratulations and praise of the Philippine
public, the McCullough arrived at Hongkong and her commander said
to Senor Aguinaldo that Admiral Dewey needed him (le necesitaba)
in Manila and that he brought an order to take him on board said
transport, as well as other revolutionary chiefs whose number should
be determined by Senor Aguinaldo, and, in fact, he and seventeen
chiefs went to Cavite on the McCullough.

"Senor Aguinaldo began his campaign against the Spaniards the very
day that he received the 1,902 Mauser guns and 200,000 cartridges,
which came from Hongkong. The first victory which he obtained
from the Spaniards was the surrender or capitulation of the Spanish
General, Senor Pena, who was the Military Governor of Cavite, had his
headquarters in the town of San Francisco de Malabon, and his force
was composed of 1,500 soldiers, including volunteers.

"The revolutionary army in six days' operations succeeded in getting
possession of the Spanish detachments stationed in the villages of
Bakoor, Imus, Benakayan, Naveleta, Santa Cruz de Malabon, Rosario
and Cavite Viejo.

"On June 9 last the whole province of Cavite was under the control
of the provisional revolutionary government, including many Spanish
prisoners and friars, 7,000 guns, great quantities of ammunition and
some cannon.

"At the same time that the province of Cavite was being conquered
other revolutionary chiefs were carrying on campaigns in the Batangas,
Laguna, Tayabas, Nueva Eziza, Bulcau, Batangas, Pampanga and Morong,
which were under control of the revolutionary army by June 12, and
such progress was made by the Philippine revolution in the few days
of campaign against the Spaniards that by August 3 last it held under
conquest fifteen important provinces of the island of Luzon; these
provinces are being governed by laws emanating from the provisional
revolutionary government and in all of them perfect order and complete
tranquility reign.

"It is to be noted that the Spanish government has sent to Senor
Aguinaldo various emissaries, who invited him to make common cause with
Spain against the United States, promising him that the government of
the Spanish nation would concede to him anything he might ask for the
Philippine people. But Senor Aguinaldo has invariably replied to those
emissaries, that it was too late and that he could not consider any
proposition from the Spanish government, however beneficial it might
be to the Philippines, because he had already pledged his word of honor
in favor of certain representatives of the government at Washington.

"In view of this positive resolution of Senor Aguinaldo there began
forthwith the intrigues of the Spanish enemy directed against the
life of Senor Aguinaldo.

_Peace Convention of December, 1896._

"Senor Aguinaldo, in his own name and in that of the other chiefs
and subordinates, obligated himself to lay down their arms, which,
according to an inventory, were to be turned over to the Spanish
government, thus terminating the revolution. His Excellency the
Governor and Captain-General, Don Fernando Primo de Rivera, as the
representative of His Majesty's government in the Philippines,
obligated himself on his side (1) to grant a general amnesty to
all those under charges or sentenced for the crime of rebellion
and sedition and other crimes of that category; (2) to introduce
into the Philippines all reforms necessary for correcting in an
effective and absolute manner the evils which for so many years
had oppressed the country, in political and administrative affairs;
and (3) an indemnity of $800,000, payable at the following dates:
A letter of credit of the Spanish Filipine Bank for $400,000 against
the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank in Hongkong was to be delivered to
Senor Aguinaldo on the same day that he should leave Biak-va-Bato,
where he had established his headquarters, and should embark on the
steamer furnished by the Spanish government (this letter of credit
was in point of fact delivered); $200,000 was to be paid to the said
Senor Aguinaldo as soon as the revolutionary general, Senor Ricarte,
should receive his telegram ordering him to give up his arms, with an
inventory thereof, to the commissioner designated by his excellency
the Governor and Captain-General, Don Fernando Primo de Rivera; and
the remaining $200,000 should be due and payable when the peace should
be a fact, and it should be understood that peace was a fact when
the Te Deum should be sung by order of his excellency the Governor
and Captain-General of the Philippines.

"Senor Aguinaldo complied in every respect, so far as he was concerned,
with the peace agreement. But the Spanish government did not observe
a similar conduct, and this has been deplored and still is deeply
deplored by the Philippine people. The general amnesty which was
promised has remained completely a dead letter. Many Filipinos are
still to be found in Fernando Po and in various military prisons in
Spain suffering the grievous consequences of the punishment inflicted
upon them unjustly and the inclemencies of the climate to which they
are not accustomed. Some of these unfortunates, who succeeded in
getting out of those prisons and that exile, are living in beggary
in Spain, without the government furnishing them the necessary means
to enable them to return to the Philippines.

"In vain has the Philippine public waited for the reforms also
promised. After the celebration of the compact of June and the
disposition of the arms of the revolutionists the Governor-General
again began to inflict on the defenseless natives of the country
arbitrary arrest and execution without judicial proceedings solely
on the ground that they were merely suspected of being secessionists;
proceedings which indisputably do not conform to the law and Christian

"In the matter of reforms the religious orders again began to obtain
from the Spanish government their former and absolute power. Thus
Spain pays so dearly for her fatal errors in her own destiny!

"In exchange for the loftiness of mind with which Senor Aguinaldo has
rigidly carried out the terms of the peace agreement, General Primo de
Rivera had the cynicism to state in the congress of his nation that
he had promised no reform to Senor Aguinaldo and his army, but that
he had only given them a piece of bread in order that they might be
able to maintain themselves abroad. This was reechoed in the foreign
press, and Senor Aguinaldo was accused in the Spanish press of having
allowed himself to be bought with a handful of gold, selling out his
country at the same time. There were published, moreover, in those
Spanish periodicals caricatures of Senor Aguinaldo which profoundly
wounded his honor and his patriotism.

"Senor Aguinaldo and the other revolutionists who reside in Hongkong
agreed not to take out one cent of the $400,000 deposited in the
chartered bank and the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank, the only amount
which Senor Aguinaldo received from the Spanish government on account
of the stipulated indemnity, but to use it for arms in order to
carry on another revolution in the Philippines, in case the Spanish
government should fail to carry out the peace agreement, at least
in so far as it refers to general amnesty and reforms. All the above
named revolutionists, Senor Aguinaldo setting the example, resolved to
deny themselves every kind of comfort during their stay in Hongkong,
living in the most modest style, for the purpose of preventing a
reduction by one single cent of the above named sum of $400,000,
which they set aside exclusively for the benefit of their country.

_Law Suit between Don J. Artacho and Don E. Aguinaldo._

"Senor Artacho, induced by the father solicitor of the Dominicans
and the Consul-General of Spain, filed in the courts of that colony
a summons against Don E. Aguinaldo, asking for a division of the
above-mentioned $400,000 between those revolutionary chiefs who resided
in Hongkong. Artacho and three others, who joined the revolution in
its last days and rendered little service to it, were the only ones who
desired a division of this money; whereas forty-seven revolutionaries,
many of whom were most distinguished chiefs, were opposed to it,
supporting the resolution which Senor Aguinaldo had previously taken
in regard to it. Senor Aguinaldo, in order to avoid all scandal, did
everything possible to avoid appearing in court answering the summons
of Artacho, who, realizing that his conduct had made himself hated by
all Filipinos, agreed in a friendly arrangement to withdraw his suit,
receiving in exchange $5,000; in this way were frustrated the intrigues
of the solicitor of the Dominican order and of the Spanish Consul,
who endeavored at any cost to destroy the $400,000 by dividing it up.

"Artacho is now on trial before a judicial court on charges preferred
by various revolutionists for offenses which can be proved; he has
no influence in the revolutionary party."

_Proclamation of General Aguinaldo_.

_May 24th_, 1898.


The Great Nation North America, cradle of true liberty and friendly on
that account to the liberty of our people, oppressed and subjugated
by the tyranny and despotism of those who have governed us, has
come to manifest even here a protection which is decisive, as well
as disinterested, towards us considering us endowed with sufficient
civilization to govern by ourselves this our unhappy land. To maintain
this so lofty idea, which we deserve from the now very powerful
Nation North America, it is our duty to detest all those acts which
belie such an idea, as pillage, robbery and every class of injury to
persons as well as to things. With a view to avoiding international
conflicts during the period of our campaign, I order as follows:

Article I. The lives and property of all foreigners, including Chinese
and all Spaniards who either directly or indirectly have joined in
taking arms against us are to be respected.

Article II. The lives and property of those who lay down their arms
are also to be respected.

Article III. Also are to be respected all sanitary establishments and
ambulances, and likewise the persons and things which may be found
either in one or the other, including the assistants in this service,
unless they show hostility.

Article IV. Those who disobey what is prescribed in the preceding
articles will be tried by summary court and put to death, if such
disobedience shall cause assassination, fire, robbery and violation.

Given at Cavite, the 24th of May, 1898.

_Emilio Aguinaldo._

It is to be remarked of this semi-official statement that Admiral
Dewey did not make any promises he could not fulfill to Aguinaldo;
did not assume to speak for the President or the army of the United
States, but gave guns and ammunition to the insurgents, who aided
him in maintaining a foothold on the shore. The insurgents did not
win Dewey's victory, but aided to improve it. Without the aid of the
American army Manila might have been destroyed, but could not have
been captured intact. General Merritt settled the question of the
status of the insurgent army with respect to the capture of Manila in
a summary and sound way when he said there could be but one military
authority in a military government, and as the commanding general of
the Philippine expedition of the United States, he was that authority.


The Proclamations of General Aguinaldo.

June 16th, 1898, Establishing Dictatorial Government--June 20th, 1898,
Instructions for Elections--June 23d, 1898, Establishing Revolutionary
Government--June 23d, 1898, Message to Foreign Powers--June 27th,
1898, Instructions Concerning Details--July 23d, 3898, Letter From
Senor Aguinaldo to General Anderson--August 1st, 1898, Resolutions
of Revolutionary Chiefs Asking for Recognition--August 6th, 1898,
Message to Foreign Powers Asking Recognition.

One of the most critical questions in the situation of the Philippines
is the precise position of the leader of the insurgents, General
Aguinaldo. His utterances in his official character of leader of
the natives who for years have been in rebellion against Spain, have
been but fragmentary, as they have come before the people. We give
for the public information the consecutive series of proclamations.

No. 1.

To the Philippine Public:

Circumstances have providentially placed me in a position for which I
can not fail to recognize that I am not properly qualified, but since
I can not violate the laws of Providence nor decline the obligations
which honor and patriotism impose upon me, I now salute you, Oh,
My Beloved People!

I have proclaimed in the face of the whole world that the aspiration
of my whole life, the final object of all my efforts and strength is
nothing else but your independence, for I am firmly convinced that
that constitutes your constant desire and that independence signifies
for us redemption from slavery and tyranny, regaining our liberty
and entrance into the concert of civilized nations.

I understand on the other hand that the first duty of every government
is to interpret faithfully popular aspirations. With this motive,
although the abnormal circumstances of the war have compelled me
to institute this Dictatorial Government which assumes full powers,
both civil and military, my constant desire is to surround myself with
the most distinguished persons of each Province, those who by their
conduct, deserve the confidence of their province to the end that the
true necessities of each being known by them, measures may be adopted
to meet these necessities and apply the remedies in accordance with
the desires of all.

I understand moreover the urgent necessity of establishing in each
town a solid and robust organization, the strongest bulwark of public
security and the sole means of securing that union and discipline
which are indispensable for the establishment of the Republic, that
is Government of the people for the people, and warding off the
international conflicts which may arise.

Following out the foregoing considerations I decree as follows:

Article I. The inhabitants of every town where the forces of the
Spanish government still remain, will decide upon the most efficacious
measures to combat and destroy them, according to the resources and
means at their disposal, according to prisoners of war the treatment
most conformable to humanitarian sentiments and to the customs observed
by civilized nations.

Article II. As soon as the town is freed from Spanish domination,
the inhabitants most distinguished for high character, social position
and honorable conduct both in the center of the community and in the
suburbs, will come together in a large meeting in which they will
proceed to elect by a majority of votes, the chief of the town and
a head man for each suburb, considering as suburbs not only those
hitherto known as such, but also the center of the community.

All those inhabitants who fulfill the conditions above named, will
have the right to take part in this meeting and to be elected,
provided always that they are friendly to Philippine independence
and are twenty years of age.

Article III. In this meeting shall also be elected by a majority of
votes, three Delegates; one of police and internal order, another of
justice and civil registry and another of taxes and property.

The delegate of police and internal order will assist the Chief in
the organization of the armed force, which for its own security each
town must maintain, according to the measure of its resources and in
the preservation of order, government and hygiene of its population.

The delegate of justice and civil registry will aid the Chief in
the formation of courts and in keeping books of registry of births,
deaths and marriage contracts, and of the census.

The delegate of taxes and property will aid the chief in the collection
of taxes, the administration of public funds, the opening of books
of registry of cattle and real property, and in all work relating to
encouragement of every class of industry.

Article IV. The Chief, as President, with the head men and the above
mentioned delegates, will constitute the popular assemblies who will
supervise the exact fulfillment of the laws in force and the particular
interests of each town.

The head man of the center of the community will be the Vice President
of the assembly, and the delegate of justice its secretary.

The head men will be delegates of the Chief within their respective

Article V. The Chiefs of each town after consulting the opinion of
their respective assemblies, will meet and elect by majority of votes
the Chief of the Province and three councilors for the three branches
above mentioned.

The Chief of the Province as President, the Chief of the town which
is the capital of the Province, as Vice President, and the above
named councilors will constitute the Provincial Council, which will
supervise the carrying out of the instructions of this government
in the territory of the Province, and for the general interest of
the Province, and will propose to this government the measures which
should be adopted for the general welfare.

Article VI. The above named chiefs will also elect by majority of
votes three representatives for each one of the Provinces of Manila
and Cavite, two for each one of the Provinces classified as terminal
in Spanish legislation, and one for each one of the other Provinces
and Politico-Military commands of the Philippine Archipelago.

The above named representatives will guard the general interests of the
Archipelago and the particular interests of their respective Provinces,
and will constitute the Revolutionary Congress, which will propose to
this government the measures concerning the preservation of internal
order, and external security of these islands, and will be heard by
this government on all questions of grave importance. The decision
of which will admit of delay or adjournment.

Article VII. Persons elected to any office whatsoever in the form
prescribed in the preceding article can not perform the functions
of the same without the previous confirmation by this government,
which will give it in accordance with the certificates of election.

Representatives will establish their identity by exhibiting the above
named certificates.

Article VIII. The Military Chiefs named by this government in each
Province will not intervene in the government and administration of
the Province, but will confine themselves to requesting of the Chiefs
of Provinces and towns the aid which may be necessary both in men
and resources, which are not to be refused in case of actual necessity.

Nevertheless, when the Province is threatened or occupied by the
enemy in whole or in part, the military chief of highest rank therein
may assume powers of the Chief of the Province, until the danger
has disappeared.

Article IX. The government will name for each Province a commissioner,
specially charged with establishing therein the organization prescribed
in this decree, in accordance with instructions which this government
will communicate to him. Those military chiefs who liberate the
towns from the Spanish domination are commissioners by virtue of
their office.

The above named commissioners will preside over the first meetings
held in each town and in each Province.

Article X. As soon as the organization provided in the decree has been
established all previous appointments to any civil office, whatsoever,
no matter what their origin or source, shall be null and void, and
all instructions in conflict with the foregoing are hereby annulled.

Given at Cavite, the 18th of June, 1898.

_Emilio Aguinaldo_.

No. 2.

For the execution and proper carrying out of what is prescribed in the
decree of this government concerning the management of the Provinces
and towns of the Philippine Archipelago, I decree as follows:


Concerning the Management of the Provinces and towns.

(Then follow 45 rules concerning the elections, formation of the
police, the courts and the levying and collection of taxes.)

Given at Cavite, 20th of June, 1898.

_Emilio Aguinaldo_.

No. 3.

_Don Emilio Aguinaldo y Famy_,

President of the Revolutionary Government of the Philippines, and
General in Chief of Its Army.

This government desiring to demonstrate to the Philippine people that
one of its ends is to combat with a firm hand the inveterate vices
of the Spanish administration, substituting for personal luxury
and that pompous ostentation which have made it a mere matter of
routine, cumbrous and slow in its movements, another administration
more modest, simple and prompt in performing the public service:
I decree as follows:

_Chapter I._

_Of the Revolutionary Government_.

Article I. The dictatorial government will be entitled hereafter
the revolutionary government, whose object is to struggle for the
independence of the Philippines until all nations, including the
Spanish, shall expressly recognize it, and to prepare the country so
that a true republic may be established.

The dictator will be entitled hereafter President of the Revolutionary

Article II. Four secretaryships of government are created; one of
foreign affairs, navy and commerce; another of war and public works;
another of police and internal order, justice, education and hygiene;
and another of finance, agriculture, and manufacturing industry.

The government may increase this number of secretaryships, when it
shall find in practice that this distribution is not sufficient for
the multiplied and complicated necessities of the public service.

Article III. Each secretaryship shall aid the President in the
administration of questions concerning the different branches which
it comprises.

At the head of each one shall be a secretary who shall not be
responsible for the decrees of the Presidency, but shall sign them
with the President, to give them authority.

But if it shall appear that the decree has been promulgated on the
proposition of the secretary of the department, the latter shall be
responsible conjointly with the President.

Article IV. The secretaryship of foreign affairs will be divided
into three bureaus, one of diplomacy, another of navy and another
of commerce.

The first bureau will study and dispose of all questions pertaining to
the management of diplomatic negotiations with other powers and the
correspondence of this government with them. The second will study
all questions relating to the formation and organization of our navy
and the fitting out of such expeditions as the necessities of the
revolution may require; and the third will have charge of everything
relating to internal and external commerce, and the preliminary
work which may be necessary for making treaties of commerce with
other nations.

Article V. The secretaryship of war will be divided into two bureaus;
one of war, properly speaking, and the other of public works.

The first bureau will be subdivided into four sections: One
of campaigns, another of military justice, another of military
administration, and another of military health.

The section of campaigns will have charge of the appointment and
formation of the certificates of enlistment and service of all who
serve in the revolutionary militia; of the direction of campaigns;
the preparation of plans, works of fortification, and preparing
reports of battles; of the study of military tactics for the army
and the organization of the general staff, artillery and cavalry;
and finally, of the determination of all other questions concerning
the business of campaigns and military operations.

The section of military justice will have charge of everything relating
to courts of war and military tribunals; the appointment of judges and
counsel and the determination of all questions of military justice; the
section of military administration will he charged with the furnishing
of food and other supplies necessary for the use of the army; and the
section of military health will have charge of everything relating
to the hygiene and healthfulness of the militia.

Article VI. The other secretaryships will he divided into such bureaus
as their branches may require and each bureau will be subdivided into
sections according to the nature and importance of the work it has
to do.

Article VII. The secretary will inspect and supervise all the work of
his secretaryship and will determine all questions with the President
of the government.

At the head of each bureau will be a director and in each section an
officer provided with such number of assistants as may be specified.

Article VIII. The President will appoint the secretaries of his own
free choice and in concert with them will appoint all the subordinate
officials of each secretaryship.

In order that in the choice of persons it may be possible to avoid
favoritism, it must be fully understood that the good name of the
country and the triumph of the revolution require the services of
persons truly capable.

Article IX. The secretaries may be present at the revolutionary
congress in order that they may make any motion in the name of
the President or may be interpolated publicly by any one of the
representatives; but when the question which is the object of the
motion shall be put to vote or after the interpolation is ended they
shall leave and shall not take part in the vote.

Article X. The President of the government is the personification of
the Philippine people, and in accordance with this idea it shall not
he possible to hold him responsible while he fills the office.

His term of office shall last until the revolution triumphs, unless,
under extraordinary circumstances, he shall feel obliged to offer his
resignation to congress, in which case congress will elect whomsoever
it considers most fit.

_Chapter II._

_Of the Revolutionary Congress._

Article XI. The Revolutionary Congress is the body of representatives
of the Provinces of the Philippine Archipelago elected in the manner
prescribed in the decrees of the 18th, present month.

Nevertheless, if any Province shall not be able as yet to elect
representatives because the greater part of its towns shall have not
yet succeeded in liberating themselves from Spanish domination, the
government shall have power to appoint as provisional representatives
for this Province those persons who are most distinguished for high
character and social position, in such numbers as are prescribed by
the above named decree, provided always that they are natives of the
Province which they represent or have resided therein for a long time.

Article XII. The representatives having met in the town which is the
seat of the revolutionary government, and in the building which may
be designated, will proceed to its preliminary labors, designating
by plurality of votes a commission composed of five individuals
charged with examining documents accrediting each representative,
and another commission, composed of three individuals, who will
examine the documents which the five of the former commission exhibit.

Article XIII. On the following day the above named representatives will
meet again and the two commissions will read their respective reports
concerning the legality of the said documents, deciding by an absolute
majority of votes on the character of those which appear doubtful.

This business completed, it will proceed to designate, also by absolute
majority, a President, a Vice President, and two secretaries, who
shall be chosen from among the representatives, whereupon the congress
shall be considered organized, and shall notify the government of
the result of the election.

Article XIV. The place where congress deliberates is sacred and
inviolable, and no armed force shall enter therein unless the
President thereof shall ask therefor in order to establish internal
order disturbed by those who can neither honor themselves nor its
august functions.

Article XV. The powers of congress are: To watch over the general
interest of the Philippine people, and the carrying out of the
revolutionary laws; to discuss and vote upon said laws; to discuss and
approve prior to their ratification treaties and loans; to examine and
approve the accounts presented annually by the secretary of finance, as
well as extraordinary and other taxes which may hereafter be imposed.

Article XVI. Congress shall also be consulted in all grave and
important questions, the determination of which admits of delay or
adjournment; but the President of the government shall have power to
decide questions of urgent character, but in that case he shall give
account by message to said body of the decision which he has adopted.

Article XVII. Every representative shall have power to present to
congress any project of a law, and every secretary on the order of
the President of the government shall have similar power.

Article XVIII. The sessions of congress shall be public, and only
in cases which require reserve shall it have power to hold a secret

Article XIX. In the order of its deliberations, as well as in the
internal government of the body the instructions which shall be
formulated by the congress itself shall be observed. The President
shall direct the deliberations and shall not vote except in case of
a tie, when he shall have the casting vote.

Article XX. The President of the government shall not have power
to interrupt in any manner the meeting of congress, nor embarrass
its sessions.

Article XXI. The congress shall designate a permanent commission of
justice which shall be presided over by the auxilliary vice president
or each of the secretaries, and shall be composed of those persons
and seven members elected by plurality of votes from among the

This commission shall judge on appeal the criminal cases tried by
the Provincial courts; and shall take cognizance of and have original
jurisdiction in all cases against the secretaries of the government,
the chiefs of Provinces and towns, and the Provincial judges.

Article XXII. In the office of the secretary of congress shall be kept
a book of honor, wherein shall be recorded special services rendered
to the country, and considered as such by said body. Every Filipino,
whether in the military or civil service, may petition congress for
notation in said book, presenting duly accredited documents describing
the service rendered by him on behalf of the country, since the
beginning of the present revolution. For extraordinary services, which
may be rendered hereafter, the government will propose said notation
accompanying the proposal with the necessary documents justifying it.

Article XXIII. The congress will also grant, on the proposal of the
government rewards in money, which can be given only once to the
families of those who were victims of their duty and patriotism,
as a result of extraordinary acts of heroism.

Article XXIV. The acts of congress shall not take effect until
the President of the government orders their fulfillment and
execution. Whenever the said President shall be of the opinion that
any act is unsuitable or against public policy, or pernicious, he
shall explain to congress the reasons against its execution, and if
the latter shall insist on its passage the President shall have power
to oppose his veto under his most rigid responsibility.

_Chapter III._

_Of Military Courts and Justice._

Article XXV. When the chiefs of military detachments have notice that
any soldier has committed or has perpetrated any act of those commonly
considered as military crimes, he shall bring it to the knowledge of
the commandant of the Zone, who shall appoint a judge and a secretary,
who shall begin suit in the form prescribed in the instructions dated
the 20th of the present month. If the accused shall be of the grade of
lieutenant or higher, the said commandant shall himself be the judge,
and if the latter shall be the accused, the senior commandant of the
Province shall name as judge an officer who holds a higher grade,
unless the same senior commandant shall himself have brought the
suit. The judge shall always belong to the class of chiefs.

Article XXVI. On the conclusion of the preliminary hearing, the senior
commandant shall designate three officers of equal or higher rank to
the judge and the military court shall consist of the said officers,
the judge, the councilor and the President. The latter shall be the
commandant of the Zone, if the accused be of the grade of sergeant or
less, and the senior commandant if he be of the grade of lieutenant
or higher. This court shall conduct the trial in the form customary
in the Provincial courts, but the judgment shall be appealable to
the higher courts of war.

Article XXVII. The superior court shall be composed of six members,
who shall hold rank not less than brigadier generals, and the judge
advocate. If the number of generals present in the capitol of the
revolutionary government shall not be sufficient the deficiency
shall be supplied by representatives designated and commissioned by
congress. The president of the court shall be the general having the
highest rank of all, and should there be more than one having equal
rank, the president shall be elected from among them by absolute
majority of votes.

Article XXVIII. The superior court shall have jurisdiction in all
cases affecting the higher commandants, the commandants of Zones and
all officers of the rank of major or higher.

Article XXIX. Commit Military Crimes: 1st. Those who fail to grant the
necessary protection to foreigners, both in their persons and property,
and those who similarly fail to afford protection to hospitals and
ambulances, including persons and effects which may be found in
possession of one or the other, and those engaged in the service of
the same, provided always they commit no hostile act. 2d. Those who
fail in the respect due to the lives, money and jewels of enemies who
lay down their arms, and of prisoners of war. 3d. Filipinos who place
themselves in the service of the enemy acting as spies or disclosing
to them secrets of war and the plans of revolutionary positions and
fortifications, and those who present themselves under a flag of
truce without justifying properly their office and their personality;
and 4th, those who fail to recognize a flag of truce duly accredited
in the forms, prescribed by international law.

Will Commit also Military Crimes: 1st. Those who conspire against
the unity of the revolutionists, provoking rivalry between chiefs and
forming divisions and armed bands. 2d. Those who solicit contributions
without authority of the government and misappropriate the public
funds. 3d. Those who desert to the enemy, or are guilty of cowardice
in the presence of the enemy, being armed; and, 4th, those who seize
the property of any person who has done no wrong to the revolution,
violate women and assassinate or inflict serious wounds on unarmed
persons and commit robberies or arson.

Article XXX. Those who commit the crimes enumerated will be considered
as declared enemies of the revolution, and will incur the penalties
prescribed in the Spanish penal code, and in the highest grade.

If the crime shall not be found in the said code, the offender shall
be imprisoned until the revolution triumphs unless the result of this
shall be an irreparable damage, which in the judgment of the tribunal
shall be a sufficient cause for imposing the penalty of death.

_Additional Clauses._

The government will establish abroad a revolutionary committee,
composed of a number not yet determined of persons most competent
in the Philippine Archipelago. This committee will be divided into
three delegations; one of diplomacy, another of the navy and another
of the army.

The delegation of diplomacy will manage and conduct negotiations with
foreign cabinets with a view to the recognition of the belligerency
and independence of the Philippines.

The delegation of the navy will be charged with studying and
organizing the Philippine navy and preparing the expenditures which
the necessities of the revolution may require.

The delegation of the army will study military tactics and the best
form of organization for the general staff, artillery and engineers
and whatever else may be necessary in order to fit out the Philippine
Army under the conditions required by modern progress.

Article XXXII. The government will issue the necessary instructions
for the proper execution of the present decree.

Article XXXIII. All decrees of the dictatorial government in conflict
with the foregoing are hereby annulled.

Given at Cavite, the 23d of June, 1898.

_Emilio Aguinaldo._


Desiring to bring about a proper execution of the decree dated the 23d
of the present month, and to provide that the administrative measures
shall not result hereafter in the paralysis of public business,
but that, on the contrary, it shall constitute the best guarantee of
the regularity, promptitude and fitness in the transaction of public
business, I give the following instructions and decree:

(Then follow ten rules concerning the details of installing the

Cavite, the 27th of June, 1898.

_Emilio Aguinaldo._

_Message of the President of the Philippine Revolution._

If it is true, as it is true, that political revolutions properly
understood, are the violent means which people employ to recover the
sovereignty which naturally belongs to them, usurped and trampled
upon by a tyrannical and arbitrary government, no revolution can be
more righteous than that of the Philippines, because the people have
had recourse to it after having exhausted all the pacific means which
reason and experience could suggest.

The ancient Kings of Castile felt obliged to consider the Philippines
as a brother people, united to the Spanish in a perfect participation
of aims and interests, so much so that when the Constitution of
1812 was promulgated, at Cadiz, on account of the War of Spanish
Independence, these islands were represented in the Spanish Cortez;
but the interests of the Monastic corporations which have always
found unconditional support in the Spanish Government, overcame this
sacred duty and the Philippines remained excluded from the Spanish
Constitution, and the people at the mercy of the discretionary or
arbitrary powers of the Governor-General.

In this condition the people claimed justice, begged of the metropolis
the recognition and restitution of their secular rights by means
of reforms which should assimilate in a gradual and progressive
manner, the Philippines to the Spaniards; but their voice was quickly
throttled and their sons received as the reward of their self-denial,
deportation, martyrdom and death. The religious corporations with
whose interests, always opposed to those of the Philippine people, the
Spanish Government has been identified, scoffed at these pretensions
and answered with the knowledge of that Government that Spanish
liberties have cost blood.

What other recourse then remained to the people for insisting as in
duty bound on regaining its former rights? No alternative remained
except force and, convinced of that, it has had recourse to revolution.

And now it is not limited to asking assimilation to the Spanish
Political Constitution, but it asks a definite separation from it;
it struggles for its independence in the firm belief that the time
has arrived in which it can and ought to govern itself.

There has been established a Revolutionary Government, under wise
and just laws, suited to the abnormal circumstances through which
it is passing, and which, in proper time, will prepare it for a true
Republic. Thus taking as a sole model for its acts, reason, for its
sole end, justice, and, for its sole means, honorable labor, it calls
all Filipinos its sons without distinction of class, and invites them
to unite firmly with the object of forming a noble society, not based
upon blood nor pompous titles, but upon the work and personal merit
of each one; a free society, where exist neither egotism nor personal
politics which annihilate and crush, neither envy nor favoritism which
debase, neither fanfaronade nor charlatanism which are ridiculous.

And it could not be otherwise. A people which has given proofs of
suffering and valor in tribulation and in danger, and of hard work and
study in peace, is not destined to slavery; this people is called to
be great, to be one of the strongest arms of Providence in ruling the
destinies of mankind; this people has resources and energy sufficient
to liberate itself from the ruin and extinction into which the Spanish
Government has plunged it, and to claim a modest but worthy place in
the concert of free nations.

Given at Cavite the 23d of June, 1898.

_Emilio Aguinaldo._

_To Foreign Governments._

The Revolutionary Government of the Philippines, on its establishment,
explained, through the message dated the 23d of June last, the
true causes of the Philippine Revolution, showing, according to
the evidence, that this popular movement is the result of the laws
which regulate the life of a people which aspires to progress and to
perfection by the sole road of liberty.

The said Revolution now rules in the Provinces of Cavite, Batangas,
Mindoro, Tayabas, Laguna, Morong, Bulacan, Bataan, Pampanga,
Neuva-Ecija, Tarlac, Pangasinan, Union, Infanta, and Zambales, and
it holds besieged the capital of Manila.

In these Provinces complete order and perfect tranquility reign,
administered by the authorities elected by the Provinces in accordance
with the organic decrees dated the 18th and 23d of June last.

The Revolution holds, moreover, about 9,000 prisoners of war, who
are treated in accordance with the customs of war between civilized
nations and humane sentiments, and at the end of the war it has more
than 30,000 combatants organized in the form of a regular army.

In this situation the chiefs of the towns comprised in the above
mentioned Provinces, interpreting the sentiments which animate
those who have elected them, have proclaimed the Independence of the
Philippines, petitioning the Revolutionary Government that will entreat
and obtain from foreign Governments recognition of its belligerency
and its independence, in the firm belief that the Philippine people
have already arrived at that state in which they can and ought to
govern themselves.

This is set forth in the accompanying documents, subscribed by the
above named chiefs.

Wherefore, the undersigned, by virtue of the powers which belong to
him as President of the Revolutionary Government of the Philippines
and in the name and representation of the Philippine people, asks
the support of all the powers of the civilized world, and earnestly
entreats them to proceed to the formal recognition of the belligerency
of the Revolution and the Independence of the Philippines; since they
are the means designated by Providence to maintain the equilibrium
between peoples, sustaining the weak and restraining the strong,
to the end that by these means shall shine forth and be realized the
most complete justice in the indefinite progress of humanity.

Given at Bacoor, in the Province of Cavite, the 6th day of August,
1898. The President of the Revolutionary Government,
_Emilio Aguinaldo_.


The undersigned chiefs of towns comprising the Provinces hereinafter
named, elected as such in the manner prescribed by the decree of the
18th and the instructions dated the 20th of June last, after having
been confirmed in their respective offices by the President of the
Government and having taken the prescribed oath before him, have met
in full assembly previously called for that purpose for the purpose
of discussing the solemn proclamation of Philippine independence.

The discussion took place with the prudence and at the length which
so important a question demands and, after suitable deliberation,
the following declarations were unanimously adopted:

The Philippine Revolution records on the one hand brilliant feats of
arms, realized with singular courage by an improvised army almost
without arms, and on the other the no less notable fact that the
people, after the combat, have not entered upon great excesses nor
pursued the enemy further; but have treated him, on the contrary,
with generosity and humanity, returning at once to their ordinary
and tranquil life.

Such deeds demonstrate, in an indisputable manner, that the Philippine
people was not created, as all believed, for the sole purpose of
dragging the chains of servitude, but that it has a perfect idea of
order and justice, shuns a savage life, and loves a civilized life.

But what is most surprising in this people is that it goes on giving
proofs that it knows how to frame laws, commensurate with the progress
of the age, to respect them and obey them, demonstrating that its
national customs are not repugnant to this progress; that it is not
ambitious for power nor honors nor riches aside from the rational
and just aspirations for a free and independent life, and inspired
by the most lofty idea of patriotism and national honor; and that in
the service of this idea and for the realization of that aspiration
it has not hesitated in the sacrifice of life and fortune.

These admirable--and more than admirable, these wonderful--deeds
necessarily engender the most firm and ineradicable convictions of
the necessity of leaving the Philippines free and independent, not
only because they deserve it, but because they are prepared to defend,
to the death, their future and their history.

Filipinos are fully convinced that if individuals have need of
material, moral and intellectual perfection in order to contribute
to the welfare of their fellows peoples require to have fullness of
life; they need liberty and independence in order to contribute to the
indefinite progress of mankind. It has struggled and will struggle,
with decision and constancy, without ever turning back or retrograding
before the obstacles which may arise in its path, and with unshakable
faith that it will obtain justice and fulfill the laws of Providence.

And neither will it be turned aside from the course it has hitherto
followed by the unjustifiable imprisonment, tortures, assassinations,
and the other vandal acts committed by the Spaniards against the
persons of peaceful and defenseless Filipinos. The Spaniards believe
themselves released from every legal obligation toward the Filipinos
for the sole reason that the belligerency of the Revolution has
not been recognized, taking no account of the fact that over and
above every law, whether written or prescriptive, are placed with
imprescriptible characters, culture, national honor and humanity. No;
the Filipinos have no need ever to make use of reprisals because they
seek independence with culture, liberty with unconditional respect
for the law, as the organ of justice, and a name purified in the
crucible of human sentiments.

In virtue of the foregoing considerations the undersigned, giving
voice to the unanimous aspiration of the people whom they represent,
and performing the offices received from them and the duties pertaining
to the powers with which they are invested,

Proclaim solemnly in the face of the whole world the Independence of
the Philippines;

Recognize and respect Senor Don Emilio Aguinaldo y Famy as President
of the Revolutionary Government, organized in the manner prescribed by
decree of the 23d and instructions of the 27th of June last, and beg
the said President that he will ask and obtain from foreign Governments
the recognition of its belligerency and independence, not only because
this act constitutes a duty of justice, but also because to no one
is it permitted to contravene natural laws nor stifle the legitimate
aspiration of a people for its amelioration and dignification.

Given in the Province of Cavite the 1st day of August, of the year
of our Lord 1898, and the first year of Philippine independence.

Follow the signatures of the local Presidents of the Provinces of
Cavite and many others.

The undersigned, Secretary of the Interior, certifies, That the present
document is a literal copy of the original, which is deposited in
the Secretaryship under his charge; in proof of which he signs it,
with the approval of the President of the Revolutionary Government
in Bacoor, the 6th day of August, 1898.

El Presidente del G. R.,
_Emilio Aguinaldo_.
El Secretano del Interior,
_Leandro Ibarra_.

_Letter from Senor Aguinaldo to General Anderson._

July 23d, 1898.

To Brigadier-General T. M. Anderson, U. S. A., etc., etc., Cavite.

In answer to the letter of your Excellency dated the 22nd of the
present month, I have the honor to manifest to you the following:

That even supposing that the effects existing in the storehouse
of Don Antonio Osorio were subject to capture, when I established
myself in the plaza (town) of Cavite, Admiral Dewey authorized me
to dispose of everything that I might find in the same, including
the arms which the Spanish left in the arsenal. But as he was aware
that said effects belonged to the personal property (ownership) of
a Filipino, who traded with them by virtue of a contribution to the
Spanish Government, I would not have touched them had not the owner
placed them at my disposition for the purposes of the war.

I came from Hong Kong 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 (to allow) any internal
discord because (being) a judge of their desires I had the strong
conviction that I would succeed in both objects; establishing a
government according to their desires.

Thus it is that at the beginning I proclaimed the dictatorship,
and afterwards, when some of the Provinces had already liberated
themselves from Spanish domination, I established a revolutionary
government that to-day exists, giving it a democratic and popular
character, as far as the abnormal circumstances of war permitted,
in order that they (the Provinces) might be justly represented and
administered to their satisfaction.

It is true that my government has not been acknowledged by any of
the foreign powers; but we expect that the great North American
nation, which struggled first for its independence and afterwards
for the abolition of slavery, and is now actually struggling for the
independence of Cuba, would look upon it with greater benevolence
than any other nation. Because of this we have always acknowledged
the right of preference as to our gratitude.

Debtor to the generosity of the North Americans, and to the favors
which we have received through Admiral Dewey, and being more desirous
than any other of preventing any conflict which would have as a result
foreign intervention which must be extremely prejudicial not alone to
my nation, but also to that of Your Excellency, I consider it my duty
to advise you of the undesirability of disembarking North American
troops in the places conquered by the Filipinos from the Spanish,
without previous notice to this government, because as no formal
agreement yet exists between the two nations, the Philippine people
might consider the occupation of its territories by North American
troops as a violation of its rights.

I comprehend that without the destruction of the Spanish squadron the
Philippine revolution would not have advanced so rapidly; because
of this I take the liberty of indicating to Your Excellency the
necessities that before disembarking troops you should communicate
in writing to this government the places that are to be occupied,
and also the object of the occupation, that the people may be advised
in due form and (thus) prevent the commission of any transgression
against friendship. I can answer for my people, because they have
given me evident proofs of their absolute confidence in my government,
but I cannot answer for that which another nation, whose friendship
is not well guaranteed, might inspire in it (the people); and it
is certain that I do this not as a menace, but as a further proof
of the true and sincere friendship which I have always professed to
the North American people in the complete security that it will find
itself completely identified with our cause of liberty.

I am, with respect,

Your obedient servant,

_Emilio Aguinaldo_.


Interview with the Archbishop of Manila.

Insurgents' Deadly Hostility to Spanish Priests--The Position of
the Archbishop as He Defined It--His Expression of Gratitude to the
American Army--His Characterization of the Insurgents--A Work of
Philippine Art--The Sincerity of the Archbishop's Good Words.

The intense feeling by the Philippine insurgents against the Spanish
priests made it seem very desirable to see the Archbishop of Manila,
and he informed two American priests that he would have pleasure in
making an expression of his views to me to be placed before the people
of the United States. He had been charged with extreme vindictiveness
and the responsibility of demanding that the city should be defended to
the last extremity, when actually, in the consultation of dignitaries
that took place, and the surrender of the capital was demanded by
General Merritt and Admiral Dewey, he declared the situation hopeless
and that it was a plain duty to prevent the sacrifice of life. He was
overruled by the peculiar folly that has caused Spain in the course
of the war to inflict heavy and avoidable losses upon herself. Indeed,
the war originated in the Spanish state of mind that it was necessary
to open fire and shed blood for the honor of the arms of Spain. The
Spanish officers knew they could not save Manila from the hands of the
Americans while the command of the sea by our fleet was indisputable
and we had unlimited reserves to draw upon to strengthen the land
forces, irrespective of the swarms of insurgents pressing in the
rear and eager to take vengeance for centuries of mismanagement
and countless personal grievances. It was the acknowledgment of the
Spanish Captain-General, when he received the peremptory summons from
Merritt and Dewey to give up the city, that there was no place of
refuge for the women and children, the sick and the wounded; and yet
it was insisted that the honor of Spain required bloodshed--not much,
perhaps, but enough to prove that the army of Spain was warlike. When
the American army had been reinforced so as to have 8,000 men ready to
take the field, General Merritt and Admiral Dewey had a conference and
agreed to send the Spaniards in authority a formal notification that
in forty-eight hours they would bombard and assail the defenses of
the city of Manila if it were not surrendered. The Spanish reply was
that the Americans could commence operations at once, but there was
no place where the women and children, the wounded and the sick could
go to find a place of security. This was tantamount to a declaration
that the Spaniards were sliding into a surrender, but wanted to make
a claim to the contrary.

The residence of the Archbishop is within the walled city and a very
substantial edifice, the stone work confined to the lower story and
hardwood timber freely used in massive form instead of stone. His grace
was seated at a small table in a broad hall, with a lamp and writing
material before him. He is imposing as a man of importance and his
greeting was cordial to kindliness. He said his acknowledgments were
personally due the American people for the peace of mind he had enjoyed
during the occupation of the city by the army of the United States,
for its establishment of order and the justice in administration
that relieved good citizens from oppression and alarm. He was glad
to have Americans know his sensibility on this subject, and wanted
me to convey his sentiments to the President.

When asked what it was that caused the insurgents to be so ferocious
against the priests and resolved on their expulsion or destruction he
said the rebels were at once false, unjust and ungrateful. They had
been lifted from savagery by Catholic teachers, who had not only been
educators in the schools but teachers in the fields. The same Catholic
Orders that were singled out for special punishment had planted in
the islands the very industries that were sources of prosperity,
and the leaders of the insurgents had been largely educated by the
very men whom now they persecuted. Some of the persecutors had been in
Europe and became revolutionists in the sense of promoting disorder as
anarchists. It was the antagonism of the church to murderous anarchy
that aroused the insurgents of the Philippines to become the deadly
enemies of priests and church orders. It was true in Spain, as in the
Philippines, that the anarchists were particularly inflamed against
the church. His grace did not seem to have heard of the American
anarchist, but the European revolutionist has received a large share
of his attention.

He produced a box of cigars, also a bottle of sherry, and chatted
comfortably and humorously. There was one thing then that he had in
his heart--that his anxiety for peace and appreciation of order as
enjoyed under the American military government should be recorded and
responsibly reported to the people of the United States. The American
priests had informed him that I was a friend of long standing of
President McKinley, and he again enjoined that I should declare his
sentiments to the President. A beautiful work of wood carving was
shown on an easel, which had a frame of hard wood, the whole, easel and
frame, with elaborately wrought ornamentation, cut out of one tree. It
was at once strong and graceful, simple and decorative. The picture was
a gold medallion, raised on a plate of silver, an excellent likeness
of his grace. It was evident that the refinements of art were known to
"these barbarians of the Philippines," for their works testified.

His grace announced that he would return my call, and his convenience
being consulted, the time was fixed for him to appear at 11 o'clock
the next day, Sunday, and he came accordingly, accompanied by three
priests, the chaplain of the First California, Father Daugherty
who sailed with General Merritt to Manila, and Father Boyle, the
superintendent of the famous observatory founded by the Jesuits, who
was a typical Irishman of a strong and humorously hearty type. Father
Boyle had one of the most perfect methods of speaking English in the
Irish way that I have ever heard, and admitted that he had resided in
England long enough to be born there; and this was great fun. It is
not too much to say that the institution he represented is illustrious.

The cathedral of Manila is within the walled city and of immense
proportions. It was shattered by an earthquake, and in its
reconstruction wood rather than marble was used for the supporting
pillars within, but no one would find out that the stately clusters
of columns were not from the quarries rather than the forests, unless
personally conducted to the discovery. Here 2,000 Spanish soldiers,
held under the articles of capitulation, were quartered, consumed
their rations and slept, munching and dozing all around the altar and
pervading the whole edifice. The other great churches, five in number,
in the walled city, were occupied in the same way. The Archbishop
was anxious to have the soldiers otherwise provided with shelter,
and if not all of them could be restored to their ordinary uses it
was most desirable, in his opinion, the cathedral should be.

It is estimated that 2,000 of the American soldiers in the
expeditionary force are Catholics, and Father Daugherty was anxious to
preach to them in English. During the call upon me by the Archbishop
this subject was discussed, and the suggestion made that the Americans
had tents in great number that they did not occupy and that would
probably not be preserved by keeping them stored in that hot and trying
climate. They might be pitched on the Luneta, which is beside the sea,
and the town thus relieved of 13,000 men, who, herded in churches,
produced unsanitary conditions. This seemed reasonable, and the policy
of the change would have a tendency to develop an element of good-will
not to be despised and rejected. It might be that the cathedral alone
could be cleared without delay or prejudice with a pleasant effect,
and if so why not? His grace was certainly diplomatic and persuasive
in stating the case, and his attendants were animated with zeal that
the Americans should have the credit of re-opening the cathedral
for worship. It was true the Spanish garrison first occupied it,
but if the necessity that its ample roof should protect soldiers
from the torrential rains had existed perhaps it had ceased to be
imperative. The matter was duly presented to the military authorities,
and the objection found to immediate action that the Spanish prisoners
of war should not for the time be located outside the walled city. They
must be held where they could be handled.

Coincident with the call of the Archbishop came Captain Coudert,
of the distinguished family of that name in New York, and his grace
was deeply interested in that young man and warmly expressed his
gratification in meeting an American officer of his own faith. The
Archbishop is a man of a high order of capacity, and his influence
has been great. His position is a trying one, for it would be quite
impossible for him to remain in Manila if the insurgents should
become the masters of the situation. The claim of hostile natives
that the Spanish priests have an influence in matters of state that
make them a ruling class is one that they urge when expressing their
resolve that the Friars must go. The Spanish policy, especially in
the municipal governments, has been to magnify the office of the
priests in political functions. The proceedings of a meeting of the
people in order to receive attention or to have legal standing must
be certified by a priest. It is the Spanish priest that is wanted in
matters of moment, and the laws make his presence indispensable. The
Spanish priests are, therefore, identified in the public mind with
all the details of misgovernment. The civilized Filipinos profess
christianity and faith in the native priests, carefully asserting
the distinction. In his conversation with me, General Aguinaldo
repeatedly referred to the necessity of consulting his advisers,
and said he had to be careful not to offend many of his followers,
who thought he had gone very far in his friendship for the United
States. He gave emphasis to the assertion that they were "suspicious"
of him on that account. It was my judgment at first that the General,
in stopping short when a question was difficult and referring to
the Council he had to consult, was showing a capacity for finesse,
that he really had the power to do or to undo, though he has not a
personal appearance of possible leadership. Now this, even, has been
modified. His Council seems to be the real center of power. When I
was talking with Aguinaldo there were two American priests waiting to
propose the deportation of his prisoners who were priests, and he had
to refer that question. The Council has decided to keep the priests
in confinement, and it is remarked that the General desired to give
up his prisoners and was false in saying he favored sending them
to Spain. There are misapprehensions in this association. He has no
doubt thought well of holding fast his most important hostages. If
he personally desired to release the priests, he probably would
not venture to do it. He is not so silly as to believe in his own
inviolability by bullets, and digestion of poisons; and those who are
such savages as to confide in these superstitions are not unlikely
to try experiments just to strengthen their faith. The potentiality
of Aguinaldo as a personage is not so great as has been imagined,
and if he attempts a rally against the American flag he will be found
full of weakness.

The Archbishop, I was told, had much pleasure in meeting an American
he was assured would attempt to be entirely just, and present
him according to his own declarations to the people of the United
States. He knew very well, unquestionably, the stories circulated
in the American camps, that his voice had been loudest and last
in urging hopeless war, in telling impossible tales of visionary
Spanish reinforcements, and denouncing the Americans as "niggers"
and "pigs." It is a fact that Spaniards have cultivated the notion
among the rural Filipinos, that Americans are black men, and pigs
is their favorite epithet for an American. The radical enemies of
His Grace are, no doubt, responsible for unseemly stories about his
animosities, for that he and those around him were sincere in their
respect for, and gratitude toward the American army of occupation,
for its admirable bearing and good conduct, was in itself too obviously
true to be doubted.


Why We Hold the Philippines.

The Responsibility of Admiral Dewey--We Owe It to Ourselves to Hold
the Philippines--Prosperity Assured by Our Permanent Possession--The
Aguinaldo Question--Character Study of the Insurgent Leader--How
Affairs Would Adjust Themselves for Us--Congress Must Be Trusted to
Represent the People and Firmly Establish International Policy.

If Admiral Dewey, after obeying the order of the President to destroy
the Spanish fleet at Manila, had steamed away and sought a station
to get coal to drive him somewhere else, there would have been no
Philippine question on the other side of the world from Washington
City. The Admiral desired to keep open telegraphic communication,
and made a proposition to that effect, but the Spanish authorities
curtly refused. Then the cable was cut by order of the Admiral, a
section removed, and both ends marked by buoys. Reflection caused the
Spaniards to regret that they had not consented to keep open the cable,
that it might be used under restrictions by both belligerents. They
mentioned their change of mind, and were told they were too late. The
American Admiral may have been apprehensive, and he had reason to be,
that the Spaniards, knowing they would be crushed in the West Indies
if they risked a decisive naval engagement there, might send all their
available ships of war to the Philippines, and secure a superiority
of force, possibly to destroy their enemies at Manila. It is clear
now that this is what the Spaniards ought to have tried to do. The
Americans were committed to the blockade of Cuba, occupying all
the vessels of war they had at hand, and the whole fleet of Spain
could have been in the Suez Canal, on the way to Manila when the
movement was known to our navy department. Then Admiral Dewey would,
of course, have been warned by way of Hong Kong and a dispatch boat,
that he should put to sea and take care of his men and ships. The
result might have been the temporary restoration of the Philippines to
Spain. Our Admiral, six hundred miles from Hongkong, the closest cable
connection, could not afford to leave Manila in direct communication
with Madrid. It was for this reason and not that he desired to keep
out of way or orders, as some able publicists have kindly promulgated,
that the Admiral cut the cable.

The gravest of his responsibilities came upon him after his victory
freed the harbor of declared enemies, and placed the great city at
his mercy. If the Spaniards used their big Krupp guns against his
ships, he could bombard the city and burn it. He held the keys to the
Philippines, with Manila under his guns, and the question before him
then was the same before the country now. The question that incessantly
presses is, whether the Dewey policy is to be confirmed, and the logic
of the stay in the harbor, and the dispatch of troops to take the town
made good. We hold the keys of the Philippines. Shall we continue to
do so? This question transcends in immediate importance--inevitable
consequence--remote as well as near, all the war with Spain has
raised. So broad a matter should not be rested on narrow grounds, nor
decided with haste. It ought to be scrutinized in all its bearings,
and all susceptibilities and material affairs regarded, for it will
affect all the people for all time.

What are the Philippines? They are the richest prize of soil and
climate that has been at hazard in the world for many years--one that
would be seized, if it could be done without war, by any of the great
nations other than our own without hesitation. The only scruple we need
entertain, the sole reason for deliberation, is because it is a duty of
the government to be sure when there are imperial considerations to be
weighed, that the people should be consulted. It was on this account
distinctly, that the President knew the issue of the permanency of
the possession of the Philippines was one of peculiar novelty and
magnitude, that he permitted it to exist. Spain must have been as
acquiescent in this as in yielding the independence of Cuba, and the
concession to us without any intermediate formality of Porto Rico. It
is not inconsistent with the policy of magnanimity that is generally
anticipated after the victory of a great power over a lesser one,
that we should hold the Philippines. We have only to keep the power
we have in peace, and let it work as a wholesome medicine, and all
the islands of the group of which Manila is the central point, will
be ours without conflict. In our system there is healing for wounds,
and attraction for the oppressed. The holding of the islands by Spain
would signify the continued shedding of blood, and drainage of the
vital resources of the peninsula. As against Spain the Philippines
will be united and desperate unto death, while they would without
coercion walk hand in hand with us, and become the greatest of our
dependencies--not states, but territories.

It would be an act of mercy to Spain to send her soldiers and priests
from the Philippines, home. Even if we consent that she may keep
her South Sea possession, she will lose it as she has all the rest,
for the story of the Philippines is that of Spanish South and Central
America, and the modern story of Cuba is the old one of all countries
South and West of the Gulf of Mexico and around by way of the Oceans
to Argentina, Mexico, Venezuela, Peru, Chili, and the rest had the
same bloody stream of history to trace, and sooner or later the
tale must all be told. Since Spain has already surrendered Cuba and
Porto Rico, the record of the Philippines is the last chapter of her
colonial experiences, by which she has dazzled and disgusted the world,
attaining from the plunder of dependencies wealth that she invested
in oppressive warfare to sustain a depraved despotism and display
a grandeur that was unsound, sapping her own strength in colonial
enterprises that could not be other than without profit, because the
colonies were the property of the crown, and the prey of caste.

The Spanish nation was forbidden by their government, not of the
people or for the people, to profit by the colonies, and the viceroys,
the captain-generals, and the whole official class were corrupted,
and inefficient in all things, except methods of tyranny to procure
a harvest of gold and silver not from the mines of the metals alone,
but from the industries, whatever they were. The people at large were
allowed no share in their own earnings, beyond a subsistence so scanty
that deep humiliation and grievous hardship were the fateful rewards
of labor.

It was because the colonial policy of Spain impoverished and degraded
the Spaniards at home, through the injustice, greed and profligacy
of those abroad, that the huge structure, once so great an imposition
upon mankind, a rotten fabric so gilt that the inherent weakness was
disguised, has finally fallen into universal and irretrievable ruin.

It is well Spain should retain the Canaries and the Balearic group,
for they are as Spanish as any peninsular province, and legitimately
belong therefore to the kingdom. The application of this principle
excludes Spain from the Philippines, and their des- [NOTE: gap in
original] been committed by the failure of war to our hands. There
is no nation that will dispute our peaceable possession of the
Philippines. Any other nation's proprietorship will be challenged.
Our authoritative presence in the islands will be a guarantee of peace.
Any other assertion of supremacy will be the signal for war. Our
assumption of sovereignty over the islands would quickly establish
tranquility. Any other disposition of the burning questions now
smoldering will cause an outburst of the flames of warfare. The
Spaniards in Manila have been transient. They are not rooted in the
soil. They all come and go like Captain-Generals, a mere official
class, with the orders of the Church participating actively in secular
concerns, more active as politicians than as teachers of religion. In
the view of the native population it is as indispensable that the
priests of Spain shall return to their native land as that the soldiers
should go. The deportation of these people would remove classes of
consumers and not affect unfavorably a productive industry, or the
prosperity of a self-sustaining community, and there would be but
rare instances of the severance of family ties.

It will be said of the affirmation that, the avowal of the possession
of the Philippines as a responsibility without end would be a peace
measure, and anything else make for war, does not take into account
the attitude of the Philippine Dictator, by proclamation, General
Aguinaldo, and his followers. We desire to speak with respect of the
General, for he has shown in trying times, under strong temptations,
the presence in his character of personal integrity in public matters,
and reference is made to his refusal to consent to the division among
insurgents alleged to be leaders, of the money paid by the Spaniards
for the disarmament of the rebels, when two years ago there was an
agreement upon the terms of a truce. This money transaction has
been referred to as the sale of their cause by Aguinaldo and his
associates, as if they, as individuals, had pocketed the usufruct
of the bargain. The money was paid by Spain as an earnest of her
sincerity, the Captain-General representing the force and good faith
of the kingdom, in granting reforms to the Philippines. On condition
of insurgent disarmament the people of the island were to be allowed
representation in the Spanish Cortes, the orders of the Church were
to be removed from relations to the Government that were offensive
to the people. There was a long list of articles of specification
of the reforms that were to be granted, the usual liberality of
words of promise always bestowed by Spain upon her colonists. The
representatives of Spain denied nothing that was asked; and to
give weight to the program of concessions, there was paid in hand to
Aguinaldo, through a transaction between banks in Manila and Hongkong,
four hundred thousand dollars, the first installment of eight hundred
thousand dollars agreed upon. [1] The Spaniards probably understood
that they were bribing the insurgents and paying a moderate sum to
cheaply end the war; and it did not cost the authorities of Spain
anything, for they exacted the money from the Manila Bank of Spain,
and still owe the bank. Aguinaldo's understanding, acted upon,
was different. He accepted the money as a war fund, and has held and
defended it for the purchase of arms, and resumed hostilities when all
promises of reform were broken, and nothing whatever done beyond the
robbery of the bank to bribe the rebel chiefs, which was the Spanish
translation. Of course, it was claimed by the enemies of Aguinaldo
that he was bought and paid for, but he has maintained the fund,
though there were those professors of rebellion, who made claims
to a share of the money. The second installment of the money that
the rebels were to have been paid is yet an obligation not lifted,
and the hostilities were revived as soon as the craft of the Spanish
negotiators in promising everything because they meant to do nothing,
became obvious. The actual proceedings in this case can be summed up
in a sentence: The Spaniards took four hundred thousand dollars out
of the Bank of Spain and gave it to the insurgents, for a temporary
armistice. General Aguinaldo, though he appears very well in refusing
to employ the money paid by Spain as a bribe for himself, has not
the elements of enduring strength as the leader of the insurgents. As
against the Spaniards he can keep the field, and carry on a destructive
guerilla warfare, hopeless on both sides, like that going on in Cuba,
when that island was invaded by the American army. But as against
American rule the Philippines would cease to be insurgents. The
islanders will not be controlled by sentimentalism. Government by the
United States would differ from that by Spain, as the two nations are
different in character, in the nature of their political institutions,
in their progressive movement. America is all active and free, and her
freedom would be extended to the islanders. The transformation would
be one from the paralysis of despotism to the life of liberty. The
words despotism and freedom would instantly have a distinct business
meaning. Make known in the city of Manila that the Americans will
abandon it, and the reviving hopes of the men of affairs would be
instantly clouded, and the depression deepen into despondency and
despair. Let it be the news of the day that the Americans will stay,
and the intelligence of the city would regard its redemption as
assured, every drooping interest revive, and an era of prosperity
unknown under the dismal incompetency of Spain, open at once. It is
legitimate that there should be freedom of speech as to the details
of the proceedings. If our Government should do what Admiral Dewey
did when he was the master of Manila, because he had annihilated the
Spanish fleet and had the power to destroy the city--cast anchor and
stay where we are already in command--the task is neither so complex
nor costly as its opponents claim. Our territorial system is one easy
of application to colonies. We have had experience of it from the
first days of our Government. There is no commandment that a Territory
shall become a State in any given time, or ever. We can hold back a
Territory, as we have Arizona and New Mexico, or hasten the change
to Statehood according to the conditions, and the perfect movement of
the machinery requires only the presence in Congress of dominant good
sense. Congress is easily denounced, but no one has found a substitute
for it, and it is fairly representative of the country. Congress will
never gamble away the inheritance of the people. It will probably,
in spite of all shortcomings, have its average of ability and utility
kept up. Congress may go wrong, but will not betray. Our outlying
possessions must be Territories until they are Americanized, and we
take it Americans know what that word means. If a specification is
wanted as a definition, we have to say the meaning is just what has
happened in California since our flag was there. In the case of the
Philippines, if we stick, and we do not see how we can help doing so,
the President will, in regular course, appoint a Territorial Governor,
and as a strong Government capable of quick and final decisions must
be made, the Governor should be a military man, and have a liberal
grant, by special Act of Congress, of military authority. He should
be a prompt, and all around competent administrator. He will not have
to carry on war offensive or defensive. He need not be in a hurry
to go far from Manila. He will not be molested there. The country
will gravitate to him. The opponents of the Republican form of
Government, as it is in the United States and the Territories of the
Nation will become insignificant in the Philippines. They will have
no grievances, except some of them may not be called at once to put
on the trappings of personal potentiality. General Aguinaldo would
find all the reforms the Spanish promised when they paid him four
hundred thousand dollars to prove their good intentions, free as the
air. He could not make war against the benignancy of a Government,
Republican in its form and its nature, which simply needs a little
time, some years maybe, before erasing the wrongs that have had a
growth of centuries. The American Governor-General need not send out
troops to conquer districts, coercing the people. The people will soon
be glad to see the soldiers of the United States, the representatives
of the downfall and departure of the instruments of Spain. Aguinaldo
and his party have a Congress. It might be an approved beginning of
a Territorial Legislature, and the insurgent General might be the
presiding officer. There would be abundant reason for the auspicious
exercise of all his rights in the public service. As for the cost
of the Philippines under our Government, that would fall upon the
treasury of the United States. There can be no doubt that it would be
for several years a considerable sum, but the public men who favored
peace for the liberation of Cuba, did not make counting the cost
the most prominent feature of the war they advocated, but accepted
the fact that the national honor and fame, the glory of heroism and
deeds of daring and sacrifice, are priceless, and their achievement
beyond price. There is to be said under this head, that the Philippine
Islands are of natural riches almost without parallel. The great isle
of Luzon teems with productions that have markets the world over,
and it is commonplace for the savages in the mountains to come out
of their fastnesses with nuggets of gold to make purchases. Cotton,
sugar, rice, hemp, coffee and tobacco, all tropical fruits and woods,
are of the products. There is profusion of the riches that await the
freedom of labor and the security of capital, and the happiness of the
people. Under American government the Philippines would prosper, and it
would be one of our tasks to frame legislation. The laws of Congress
would be the higher code of law, and the Philippines would desire,
and be invited, of course, to send their ablest men to be Territorial
representatives in the Congress of the United States. In the name
of peace, therefore, and in behalf of the dignity and authority of
this Nation--in mercy to the Spaniards, in justice to the Filipinos,
it is due ourselves, and should have the favor of all who would see
our country expand with the ages, and walking in the footsteps of
Washington and Jefferson, finding the path of empire that of freedom
and taking our place as a great Power, accepting the logic of our
history, and the discharge of the duties of destiny--we should hold
on to the Philippines--and when the great distance of those islands
from this continent is mentioned, remember that the Pacific may now
be crossed in as few days as was the Atlantic forty years ago.

The labor questions and the silver questions even come into the
Philippines problem to be scanned and weighed. In Eastern Asia,
which we have invaded, and a part of which we have appropriated for
a time, the people use silver for the measure of value, and in the
islands that interest us, as they do not deal in the mysteries of
rupees, but in dollars, the facts in the case are plainly within the
common understanding. In Manila the Mexican dollar goes in ordinary
small exchanges, payment of wages and settlement of bills, for fifty
cents; but the banks sell the Mexicans twenty-one of them for ten gold
dollars--an American eagle! So far as the native people go, labor and
produce are counted in silver, and the purchaser, or employer gets
as much for a silver dollar as for a gold dollar. The native will
take ten dollars in gold for ten dollars only in all settlements
of accounts, and would just as willingly--even more so, accept ten
Mexican dollars as ten American dollars in gold coin. Salaries are
paid and goods delivered according to the silver standard. Of course,
in due time this state of things will pass away, if we hold to the
gold standard, but as the case stands the soldiers and sailors of
our army and fleet, paid under the home standard, receive double pay,
and get double value received for clothing, tobacco and whatever they
find they want--indeed, for the necessaries and luxuries of life. The
double standard in this shape is not distasteful to the boys.

We have both theories and conditions confronting us in these aspects
of the silver and labor questions. The Oriental people are obdurate
in their partiality for silver. It is the cheaper labor that adheres
to the silver standard, partially, it is held, because silver is the
more convenient money for the payment of small sums. But labor cannot
be expected, at its own expense, to sustain silver for the profit of
capital, or rather of the middle man between labor and capital. Labor,
so far as it is in politics in this country, should not, without
most careful study and deliberation, conclude that its force in
public affairs would be abated, and its policy of advancing wages
antagonized by the absorption of the Philippines in our country. On
the contrary, the statesmanship that is representative of labor may
discover that it is a great fact, one of the greatest of facts,
that the various countries and continents of the globe are being
from year to year more and more closely associated, and that to
those intelligently interested, without regard to the application
of their views of justice or expediency, in the labor and silver
questions--the convictions, the fanaticisms, of the vast silver
nations--and enormous multitudes of the people of Asia, touching the
silver standard--and the possible progress of labor, as a guiding as
well as plodding ability increases incessantly in interest, and must
grow in inheritance. As the conditions of progressive civilization are
developed our interests cannot be wholly dissevered from those of the
Asiatics. We would be unwise to contemplate the situation of to-day
as one that can or should perpetuate itself. Suppose we accept, the
governing responsibility in the Philippines. It is not beyond the range
of reasonable conjecture that American labor can educate the laborers
of the Philippines out of their state of servitude as cheap laborers,
and lead them to co-operate rather than compete with us, and not to
go into the silver question further than to consent that it exists,
and is in the simplest form of statement, whether the change in the
market value of the two money metals is natural or artificial. It is
necessary in common candor to state that the most complete solution
of the money metal embarrassments would be through the co-operation

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