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

Produced by Jeroen Hellingman and the Distributed Proofreaders Team THE PHILIPPINES PAST AND PRESENT Peace and Prosperity. This chance photograph showing General Emilio Aguinaldo as he is to-day, standing with Director of Education Frank L. Crone, beside a field of corn raised by Emilio Aguinaldo, Jr., in a school contest, typifies the peace, prosperity, and
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  • 1914
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Produced by Jeroen Hellingman and the Distributed Proofreaders Team


Peace and Prosperity.

This chance photograph showing General Emilio Aguinaldo as he is to-day, standing with Director of Education Frank L. Crone, beside a field of corn raised by Emilio Aguinaldo, Jr., in a school contest, typifies the peace, prosperity, and enlightenment which have been brought about in the Philippine Islands under American rule.

The Philippines Past and Present


Dean C. Worcester

Secretary of the Interior of the Philippine Islands 1901-1913; Member of the Philippine Commission, 1900-1913

Author of “The Philippine Islands and Their People”

In Two Volumes — With 128 Plates
Volume I



I. View Point and Subject-Matter
II. Was Independence Promised?
III. Insurgent “Cooeperation”
IV. The Premeditated Insurgent Attack V. Insurgent Rule and the Wilcox-Sargent Report VI. Insurgent Rule in the Cagayan Valley VII. Insurgent Rule in the Visayas and Elsewhere VIII. Did We Destroy a Republic?
IX. The Conduct of the War
X. Mr. Bryan and Independence
XI. The First Philippine Commission XII. The Establishment of Civil Government XIII. The Philippine Civil Service
XIV. The Constabulary and Public Order XV. The Administration of Justice
XVI. Health Conditions
XVII. Baguio and the Benguet Road
XVIII. The Cooerdination of Scientific Work

List of Illustrations


Peace and Prosperity
Fort San Antonio Abad, showing the Effect of the Fire from Dewey’s Fleet
Felipe Buencamino
The San Juan Bridge
Insurgent Prisoners
Typical Insurgent Trenches
Inside View of Insurgent Trenches at the Bagbag River General Henry W. Lawton
Feeding Filipino Refugees
The First Philippine Commission
The Second Philippine Commission
The Return of Mr. Taft
Governor-general James F. Smith with a Bontoc Igorot Escort Governor-general Forbes in the Wild Man’s Country The Philippine Supreme Court
An Unsanitary Well
A Flowing Artesian Well
An Unimproved Street in the Filipino Quarter of Manila An Improved Street in the Filipino Quarter of Manila Disinfecting by the Acre
An Old-style Provincial Jail
Retreat at Bilibid Prison, Manila
Bilibid Prison Hospital
Modern Contagious Disease Ward, San Lazaro Hospital Filipina Trained Nurses
Staff of the Bontoc Hospital
A Victim of Yaws before and after Treatment with Salvarsan The Culion Leper Colony
Building the Benguet Road
Freight Autos on the Benguet Road
The Famous Zig-zag on the Benguet Road A Typical Baguio Road
One of the First Benguet Government Cottages Typical Cottages at Baguio
A Baguio Home
The Baguio Hospital
Government Centre at Baguio
A Scene in the Baguio Teachers’ Camp The Baguio Country Club
The Bureau of Science Building, Manila The Philippine General Hospital
The College of Medicine and Surgery, Manila An Old-style Schoolhouse, with Teachers and Pupils A Modern Primary School Building
Old-style Central School Building
Modern Central School Building
Typical Scene in a Trade School
An Embroidery Class
Philippine Embroidery
Filipino Trained Nurses
A School Athletic Team
Filipina Girls playing Basket-ball
University Hall, Manila
In Hostile Country
Travel under Difficulties
Dangerous Navigation
A Negrito Family and their “House”
A Typical Negrito
Typical Kalingas
Settling a Head-hunting Feud
Entertaining the Kalingas
An Ifugao Family
Ifugao Dancers
An Ifugao Dancer
Ifugao Rice Terraces



View Point and Subject-Matter

It is customary in Latin countries for a would-be author or orator to endeavour, at the beginning of his book or his speech, to establish his status. Possibly I have become partially Latinized as the result of some eighteen years of residence in the Philippines. At all events it is my purpose to state at the outset facts which will tend to make clear my view point and at the same time briefly to outline the subject-matter which I hereinafter discuss.

As a boy I went through several of the successive stages of collector’s fever from which the young commonly suffer. First it was postage stamps; then birds’ nests, obtained during the winter season when no longer of use to their builders. Later I was allowed to collect eggs, and finally the birds themselves. At one time my great ambition was to become a taxidermist. My family did not actively oppose this desire but suggested that a few preliminary years in school and college might prove useful.

I eventually lost my ambition to be a taxidermist but did not lose my interest in zooelogy and botany. While a student at the University of Michigan I specialized in these subjects. I was fortunate in having as one of my instructors Professor Joseph B. Steere, then at the head of the Department of Zooelogy. Professor Steere, who had been a great traveller, at times entertained his classes with wonderfully interesting tales of adventure on the Amazon and in the Andes, Peru, Formosa, the Philippines and the Dutch Moluccas. My ambition was fired by his stories and when in the spring of 1886 he announced his intention of returning to the Philippines the following year to take up and prosecute anew zooelogical work which he had begun there in 1874, offering to take with him a limited number of his students who were to have the benefit of his knowledge of Spanish and of his wide experience as a traveller and collector, and were in turn to allow him to work up their collections after their return to the United States, I made up my mind to go.

I was then endeavouring to get through the University on an allowance of $375 per year and was in consequence not overburdened with surplus funds. I however managed to get my life insured for $1500 and to borrow $1200 on the policy, and with this rather limited sum upon which to draw purchased an outfit for a year’s collecting and sailed with Doctor Steere for Manila. Two other young Americans accompanied him. One of these, Doctor Frank S. Bourns, was like myself afterwards destined to play a part in Philippine affairs which was not then dreamed of by either of us.

We spent approximately a year in the islands. Unfortunately we had neglected to provide ourselves with proper official credentials and as a result we had some embarrassing experiences. We were arrested by suspicious Spanish officials shortly after our arrival and were tried on trumped-up charges. On several subsequent occasions we narrowly escaped arrest and imprisonment.

The unfriendly attitude of certain of our Spanish acquaintances was hardly to be wondered at. They could not believe that sensible, civilized human beings would shoot tiny birds, pay for eggs the size of the tip of one’s little finger more than hens’ eggs were worth, undergo not a few hardships and run many risks while living in the simplest of native houses on very inadequate food, unless actuated by some hidden purpose. At different times they suspected us of looking for gold deposits, of designing to stir up trouble among the natives, or of being political spies.

When Doctor Bourns came back with the American troops in 1908 and I returned as a member of the first Philippine Commission in 1909, this last supposition became a fixed belief with many of our former Spanish acquaintances who still remained in the islands, and they frankly expressed their regret that they had not shot us while they had the chance.

Over against certain unpleasant experiences with those who could not understand us or our work I must set much kind and invaluable assistance rendered by others who could, and did.

All in all we spent a most interesting year, visiting eighteen of the more important islands. [1]

Throughout this trip we lived in very close contact with the Filipinos, either occupying the _tribunales_, the municipal buildings of their towns, where they felt at liberty to call and observe us at all hours of the day and night, or actually living in their houses, which in some instances were not vacated by the owners during our occupancy.

Incidentally we saw something of several of the wild tribes, including the Tagbanuas of Palawan, the Moros of Jolo, Basilan and Mindanao, and the Mangyans of Mindoro.

We experienced many very real hardships, ran not a few serious risks and ended our sojourn with six weeks of fever and starvation in the interior of Mindoro. While we would not have cut short our appointed stay by a day, we were nevertheless delighted when we could turn our faces homeward, and Doctor Bourns and I agreed that we had had quite enough of life in the Philippines.

Upon my arrival at my home in Vermont a competent physician told my family that I might not live a week. I however recuperated so rapidly that I was able to return to the University of Michigan that fall and to complete the work of my senior year. I became a member of the teaching staff of the institution before my graduation.

Little as I suspected it at the time, the tropics had fixed their strangely firm grip on me during that fateful first trip to the Far East which was destined to modify my whole subsequent life. I had firmly believed that if fortunate enough to get home I should have sense enough to stay there, but before six months had elapsed I was finding life at Ann Arbor, Michigan, decidedly prosaic, and longing to return to the Philippines and finish a piece of zooelogical work which I knew was as yet only begun.

Doctor Bourns, like myself, was eager to go back, and we set out to raise $10,000 to pay the expenses of a two-years collecting tour, in the course of which we hoped to visit regions not hitherto penetrated by any zooelogist.

Times were then getting hard, and good Doctor Angell, the president of the university, thought it a great joke that two young fellows like ourselves should attempt to raise so considerable a sum to be spent largely for our own benefit. Whenever he met me on the street he used to ask whether we had obtained that $10,000 yet, and then shake with laughter. One of the great satisfactions of my life came when, on a beautiful May morning in 1890, I was able to answer his inquiry in the affirmative.

He fairly staggered with amazement, but promptly recovering himself warmly congratulated me, and with that kindly interest which he has always shown in the affairs of young men, asked how he could help us. Through his kindly offices and the intervention of the State Department we were able to obtain a royal order from the Spanish government which assured us a very different reception on our return to the Philippines in August from that which had been accorded us on the occasion of our first visit to the islands.

There was now revealed to us a pleasing side of Spanish character which we had largely missed during our first visit. Satisfied as to our identity and as to the motives which actuated us, the Spanish officials, practically without exception, did everything in their power to assist us and to render our sojourn pleasant and profitable. Our mail was delivered to us at points fifty miles distant from provincial capitals. When our remittances failed to reach us on time, as they not infrequently did, money was loaned to us freely without security. Troops were urged upon us for our protection when we desired to penetrate regions considered to be dangerous. Our Spanish friends constantly offered us the hospitality of their homes and with many of them the offer was more than _pro forma_. Indeed, in several instances it was insisted upon so strongly that we accepted it, to our great pleasure and profit.

Officials were quite frank in discussing before us the affairs of their several provinces, and we gained a very clear insight into existing political methods and conditions.

During this trip we lived in even closer contact with the Filipino [2] population than on the occasion of our first visit. Our rapidly growing knowledge of Spanish, and of Visayan, one of the more important native dialects, rendered it increasingly easy for us to communicate with them, gain their confidence and learn to look at things from their view point. They talked with us most frankly and fully about their political troubles.

During this our second sojourn in the Philippines, which lengthened to two years and six months, we revisited the islands with which we had become more or less familiar on our first trip and added six others to the list. [3] We lived for a time among the wild Bukidnons and Negritos of the Negros mountains.

After my companion had gone to Borneo I had the misfortune to contract typhoid fever when alone in Busuanga, and being ignorant of the nature of the malady from which I was suffering, kept on my feet until I could no longer stand, with the natural result that I came uncommonly near paying for my foolishness with my life, and have ever since suffered from resulting physical disabilities. When able to travel, I left the islands upon the urgent recommendation of my physician, feeling that the task which had led me to return there was almost accomplished and sure that my wanderings in the Far East were over.

Shortly after my return to the United States I was offered a position as a member of the zooelogical staff of the University of Michigan, accepted it, received speedy promotion, and hoped and expected to end my days as a college professor.

In 1898 the prospect of war with Spain awakened old memories. I fancy that the knowledge then possessed by the average American citizen relative to the Philippines was fairly well typified by that of a good old lady at my Vermont birthplace who had spanked me when I was a small boy, and who, after my first return from the Philippine Islands, said to me, “Deanie, are them Philippians you have been a visitin’ the people that Paul wrote the Epistle to?”

I endeavoured to do my part toward dispelling this ignorance. My knowledge of Philippine affairs led me strongly to favour armed intervention in Cuba, where similar political conditions seemed to prevail to a considerable extent, and I fear that I was considered by many of my university colleagues something of a “jingo.” Indeed, a member of the University Board of Regents said that I ought to be compelled to enlist. As a matter of fact, compulsion would have been quite unnecessary had it not been for physical disability.

My life-long friend and former travelling companion, Doctor Bourns, was not similarly hampered. He promptly joined the army as a medical officer with the rank of major, and sailed for the islands on the second steamer which carried United States troops there. As a natural result of his familiarity with Spanish and his wide acquaintanceship among the Filipinos, he was ordered from the outset to devote his time more largely to political matters than to the practice of his profession. He did all that he could to prevent misunderstandings between Filipinos and Americans. He assisted as an interpreter at the negotiations for the surrender of Manila on August 13, 1898, after taking part in the attack on the city. Later he was given the rather difficult task of suppressing a bad outbreak of smallpox among the Spanish prisoners of war, which he performed with great success. He was finally made chief health officer of Manila, although he continued to devote himself largely to political matters, got numberless deserving Filipinos out of trouble, and rapidly increased his already wide circle of Filipino friends. Through his letters I was kept quite closely in touch with the situation.

Meanwhile I decided that the Philippines were not for me, asked for and obtained leave for study in Europe, and in December 1898 set out for New York to engage passage for myself and my family. I went by way of Washington in order to communicate to President McKinley certain facts relative to the Philippine situation which it seemed to me ought to be brought to his attention.

I believed that there was serious danger of an outbreak of hostilities between Filipinos and Americans, and that such a catastrophe, resulting from mutual misunderstanding, might be avoided if seasonable action were taken. I have since learned how wrong was this latter belief. My previous experience had been almost exclusively with the Visayans and the wild tribes, and the revolution against the United States was at the outset a strictly Tagalog affair, and hence beyond my ken.

President McKinley very kindly gave me all the time I wanted, displayed a most earnest desire to learn the truth, and showed the deepest and most friendly interest in the Filipinos. Let no man believe that then or later he had the slightest idea of bringing about the exploitation of their country. On the contrary, he evinced a most earnest desire to learn what was best for them and then to do it if it lay within his power.

To my amazement, at the end of our interview he asked me whether I would be willing to go to the islands as his personal representative.

I could not immediately decide to make such a radical change in my plans as this would involve, and asked for a week’s time to think the matter over, which was granted. I decided to go.

Meanwhile, the President had evolved the idea of sending out a commission and asked me if I would serve on it. I told him that I would and left for my home to make preparations for an early departure. A few days later he announced the names of the commissioners. They were Jacob Gould Schurman, President of Cornell University; Major-General Elwell S. Otis, then the ranking army officer in the Philippines; Rear-Admiral George Dewey, then in command of the United States fleet in Philippine waters; Colonel Charles Denby, who had for fourteen years served as United States Minister to China, and myself.

Colonel Denby was delayed in Washington by public business. Mr. Schurman and I reached Yokohama on the morning of February 13, and on arrival there learned, to our deep regret, that hostilities had broken out on the fourth instant. We reached Manila on the evening of March 4, but Colonel Denby was unable to join us until April 2. Meanwhile, as we could not begin our work in his absence, I had an exceptional opportunity to observe conditions in the field, of which I availed myself.

I served with the first Philippine Commission until it had completed its work, and was then appointed to the second Philippine Commission without a day’s break in my period of service.

The members of this latter body were William H. Taft of Ohio; Luke E. Wright of Tennessee; Henry C. Ide of Vermont; Bernard Moses of California, and myself. Briefly stated, the task before us was to establish civil government in the Philippine Islands. After a period of ninety days, to be spent in observation, the commission was to become the legislative body, while executive power continued to be vested for a time in the military.

This condition endured until the 4th of July, 1901, on which day Mr. Taft was appointed civil governor. On September 1, 1901, each of the remaining original members of the commission became an executive officer as well. Mr. Wright was appointed secretary of commerce and police; Mr. Ide, secretary of finance and justice; Mr. Moses, secretary of public instruction, and I myself, Secretary of the Interior. On the same day three Filipino members were added to the commission: Dr. T. H. Pardo de Tavera, Sr. Benito Legarda and Sr. Jose R. de Luzuriaga.

Until the 16th of October, 1907, the Commission continued to serve as the sole legislative body. It is at the present time the upper house of the Philippine Legislature, the Philippine Assembly, composed of eighty-one elective members, constituting the lower house.

I have therefore had a hand in the enactment of all legislation put in force in the Philippine Islands since the American occupation, with the exception of certain laws passed during my few and brief absences.

As secretary of the interior it fell to my lot to organize and direct the operations of a Bureau of Health, a Bureau of Govermnent Laboratories, a Bureau of Forestry, a Bureau of Public Lands, a Bureau of Agriculture, a Bureau of Non-Christian Tribes, a Mining Bureau and a Weather Bureau. Ultimately, the Bureau of Non-Christian Tribes and the Mining Bureau were incorporated with the Bureau of Government Laboratories to form the Bureau of Science, which continued under my executive control. The Bureau of Agriculture was transferred to the Department of Public Instruction in 1909.

I was at the outset given administrative control of all matters pertaining to the non-Christian tribes, which constitute, roughly speaking, an eighth of the population of the Philippines, and until my resignation retained such control throughout the islands, except in the Moro Province, which at an early day was put directly under the governor-general.

I participated in the organization of civil government in the several provinces of the archipelago, and myself drafted the Municipal Code for the government of the towns inhabited by Filipinos, as well as the Special Provincial Government Act and the Township Government Act for that of the provinces and settlements inhabited chiefly by the non-Christian tribes.

At the outset we did not so much as know with certainty the names of the several wild and savage tribes inhabiting the more remote and inaccessible portions of the archipelago. As I was unable to obtain reliable information concerning them on which to base legislation for their control and uplifting, I proceeded to get such information for myself by visiting their territory, much of which was then quite unexplored.

After this territory was organized into five so-called “Special Government Provinces,” some of my Filipino friends, I fear not moved solely by anxiety for the public good, favoured and secured a legislative enactment which made it my official duty to visit and inspect these provinces at least once during each fiscal year. I shall always feel indebted to them for giving me this opportunity to become intimately acquainted with some of the most interesting, most progressive, and potentially most important peoples of the Philippines.

When in 1901 I received the news that a central government was soon to be established, I was in the Sub-province of Lepanto on my first trip through the wilder and less-known portions of northern Luzon. During each succeeding year I have spent from two to four months in travel through the archipelago, familiarizing myself at first hand with local conditions.

I have frequently taken with me on these inspection trips representatives of the Bureaus of Forestry, Agriculture, Science and Health to carry on practical investigations, and have made it my business to visit and explore little known and unknown regions. There are very few islands worthy of the name which it has not been my privilege to visit.

The organization of an effective campaign against diseases like bubonic plague, smallpox, Asiatic cholera and leprosy in a country where no similar work had ever previously been undertaken, inhabited by people profoundly ignorant of the benefits to be derived from modern methods of sanitation, and superstitious to a degree, promptly brought me into violent conflict with the beliefs and prejudices of a large portion of the Filipino population.

A similar result followed the inauguration of an active campaign for the suppression of surra, foot and mouth disease, and rinderpest, which were rapidly destroying the horses and cattle.

From the outset I was held responsible for the enforcement of marine and land quarantine regulations, which were at first very obnoxious to the general public.

When the Pure Food and Drugs Act adopted by Congress for the United States was made applicable to the Philippines without any provision for its enforcement, this not altogether pleasant duty was assigned to me.

I did not seek appointment to the Philippine service in the first instance. The political influence at my command has never extended beyond my own vote. During a period of twelve years my removal was loudly and frequently demanded, yet I saw President Schurman, Colonel Denby, General Otis, Admiral Dewey, Commissioner Moses, Governor Taft, Governor Wright, Governor Ide, Governor Smith, Secretary Shuster, Commissioner Tavera, Commissioner Legarda and Governor Forbes, all my colleagues on one or the other of the Philippine commissions, leave the service, before my own voluntary retirement on September 15, 1913.

I had long expected a request for my resignation at any time, and had often wished that it might come. Indeed I once before tendered it voluntarily, only to have President Taft say that he thought I should withdraw it, which I did. I am absolutely without political ambition save an earnest desire to earn the political epitaph, “He did what he could.”

During my brief and infrequent visits to the United States I have discovered there widespread and radical misapprehension as to conditions in the Philippines, but have failed to find that lack of interest in them which is commonly said to exist. On the contrary, I have found the American public keenly desirous of getting at the real facts whenever there was an opportunity to do so.

The extraordinary extent to which untrue statements have been accepted at their face value has surprised and deeply disturbed me. I have conversed with three college presidents, each of whom believed that the current expenses of the Philippine government were paid from the United States Treasury.

The preponderance of false and misleading statements about the Philippines is due, it seems to me, primarily to the fact that it is those persons with whom the climate disagrees and who in consequence are invalided home, and those who are separated from the service in the interest of the public good, who return to the United States and get an audience there; while those who successfully adapt themselves to local conditions, display interest in their work and become proficient in it, remain in the islands for long periods during which they are too busy, and too far from home, to make themselves heard.

Incidentally it must be remembered that if such persons do attempt to set forth facts which years of practical experience have taught them, they are promptly accused of endeavouring to save their own bread and butter by seeking to perpetuate conditions which insure them fat jobs.

When I think of the splendid men who have uncomplainingly laid down their lives in the military and in the civil service of their country in these islands, and of the larger number who have given freely of their best years to unselfish, efficient work for others, this charge fills me with indignation.

The only thing that kept me in the Philippine service for so long a time was my interest in the work for the non-Christian tribes and my fear that while my successor was gaining knowledge concerning it which can be had only through experience, matters might temporarily go to the bad. It has been my ambition to bring this work to such a point that it would move on, for a time at least, by its own momentum.

I am now setting forth my views relative to the past and present situation in the islands because I believe that their inhabitants are confronted by a danger graver than any which they have before faced since the time when their fate wavered in the balance, while the question whether the United States should acquire sovereignty over them or should allow Spain to continue to rule them was under consideration.

It is my purpose to tell the plain, hard truth regardless of the effect of such conduct upon my future career. It has been alleged that my views on Philippine problems were coloured by a desire to retain my official position. Nothing could be further from the truth. Indeed, no man who has not served for long and sometimes very weary years as a public official, and has not been a target for numerous more or less irresponsible individuals whose hands were filled with mud and who were actuated by a fixed desire to throw it at something, can appreciate as keenly as I do the manifold blessings which attend the life of a private citizen.

I trust that I have said enough to make clear my view point, and now a word as to subject-matter. It is my intention to correct some of the very numerous misstatements which have been made concerning past and present conditions in the Philippines. I shall quote, from time to time, such statements, both verbal and written, and more especially some of those which have recently appeared in a book entitled “The American Occupation of the Philippines, 1898-1912,” by James H. Blount, who signs himself “Officer of the United States Volunteers in the Philippines, 1899-1901; United States District Judge in the Philippines, 1901-1905.”

Judge Blount has indulged so freely in obvious hyperbole, and has made so very evident the bitter personal animosities which inspire many of his statements, that it has been a genuine surprise to his former associates and acquaintances that his book has been taken seriously.

It should be sufficiently evident to any unprejudiced reader that in writing it he has played the part of the special pleader rather than that of the historian. He has used government records freely, and as is usually the case when a special pleader quotes from such records, the nature of the matter which he has omitted is worthy of more than passing attention. I shall hope to be able to fill some of the gaps that he has left in the documentary history of the events which he discusses and by so doing, very materially to change its purport.

As public documents have been so misused, and as a new administration is bestowing on Filipinos political offices, and giving them opportunities, for which they are as yet utterly unprepared, thus endangering the results of years of hard, patient, self-sacrificing work performed by experienced and competent men, it becomes necessary to strike home by revealing unpleasant facts which are of record but have not heretofore been disclosed because of the injury to reputations and the wounding of feelings which would result from their publication. In doing this I feel that I am only discharging a duty to the people of the United States, who are entitled to know the truth if the present possibility of Philippine independence is to be seriously considered, and to the several Filipino peoples who are to-day in danger of rushing headlong to their own utter and final destruction.

At the outset I shall discuss the oft-asserted claim that the Filipino leaders were deceived and betrayed by American officials whom they assisted, and that this unpardonable conduct led to the outbreak of active hostilities which occurred just prior to the arrival at Manila of the first Philippine Commission.

I shall then show that these leaders never established a government which adequately protected life and property, or gave to their people peace, happiness or justice, but on the contrary inaugurated a veritable reign of terror under which murder became a governmental institution, while rape, inhuman torture, burying alive and other ghastly crimes were of common occurrence, and usually went unpunished. The data which I use in establishing these contentions are for the most part taken directly from the Insurgent records, in referring to which I employ the war department abbreviation “P.I.R.” followed by a number.

I next take up some of the more important subsequent historical events, describing the work of the first Philippine Commission, and showing in what manner the government established by the second Philippine Commission has discharged its stewardship, subsequently discussing certain as yet unsolved problems which confront the present government, such as that presented by the existence of slavery and peonage, and that of the non-Christian tribes. For the benefit of those who, like Judge Blount, consider the Philippines “a vast straggly archipelago of jungle-covered islands in the south seas which have been a nuisance to every government that ever owned them,” I give some facts as to the islands, their climate, their natural resources and their commercial possibilities, and close by setting forth my views as to the present ability of the civilized Cagayans, Ilocanos, Pampangans, Zambals, Pangasinans, Tagalogs, Bicols and Visayans, commonly and correctly called _Filipinos_, to establish, or to maintain when established, a stable government throughout Filipino territory, to say nothing of bringing under just and effective control, and of protecting and civilizing, the people of some twenty-seven non-Christian tribes which constitute an eighth of the population, and occupy approximately half of the territory, of the Philippine Islands.

I wish here to acknowledge my very great indebtedness to Major J. R. M. Taylor, who has translated and compiled the Insurgent [4] records, thereby making available a very large mass of reliable and most valuable information without which a number of chapters of this book would have remained unwritten. Surely no man who bases his statements concerning Filipino rule on the facts set forth in these records can be accused of deriving his information from hostile or prejudiced sources.

Of them, Major Taylor says:–

“No one reading the Insurgent records can fail to be impressed with the difference between the Spanish and the Tagalog documents. Many of the former are doubtless written with a view to their coming into the hands of the Americans, or with deliberate purpose to have them do so, and are framed accordingly. All Tagalog documents, intended only for Filipinos, say much that is not said in the Spanish documents. The orders of the Dictator [5] to his subjects were conveyed in the latter series of documents.”


Was Independence Promised?

It has long been the fashion in certain quarters to allege, or to insinuate, that American consuls and naval officers promised the Insurgent leaders that the independence of the Philippines would be recognized by the United States. It has been claimed by some that the cooeperation of the Insurgents in the military operations against Manila was sought for and secured. Others say that they were at least _de facto_ allies of the United States, and that they were in the end shamelessly betrayed and wantonly attacked.

These are very serious charges. I shall prove, chiefly by the Insurgent records, that each of them is false. I ask the forbearance of my readers if, in the three chapters which I devote to these matters, I quote documentary evidence at length. When original documents or extracts from them tell a clear and reasonably concise story, I sometimes insert them bodily in the text. In other cases I give my own version of the facts which they set forth, but give the full text in foot-notes. In nearly all instances references are given to sources of documentary information. I greatly regret that Taylor’s narrative, with its very numerous supporting documents, is not readily accessible to the student of history. It ought to have been published, but never got beyond the galley-proof stage. In referring to it, I am therefore obliged to use the word Taylor followed by the letters and figures designating the page of this galley proof on which the passage referred to is found. Whenever possible I give the War Department numbers [6] of Insurgent documents, but in a few cases can give only the exhibit numbers assigned by Taylor in printing the documents.

As his exhibits are serially arranged it is easy to find any one of them. Copies of his work may be found in the War Department and in the office of the Chief of the Philippine Constabulary.

Referring to the charge that the Insurgents were deceived, even had deceit been practised as claimed, Aguinaldo would have had no just ground for complaint, for he himself not only frankly advocated its use, but deliberately employed it in his dealings with the Americans, as clearly appears in records hereinafter cited. [7] However, most Americans hold to a standard very different from his. Was it departed from in this instance?

Aguinaldo has specifically and repeatedly charged that Pratt and Dewey promised him the recognition of the independence of the Philippines by the United States. [8]

Judge Blount has referred to the “_de facto_ alliance between the Americans and Aguinaldo,” and has dwelt at length on “promises, both expressed and implied,” which were subsequently repudiated by Consul Pratt, Admiral Dewey and Generals Anderson and Merritt, constantly suggesting, even when he does not specifically charge, bad faith on the part of these officers of the United States. [9]

On analyzing his statements we find that he is disereetly non-committal as to exactly what were the expressed promises, nor does he make it so plain as might be desired what legitimate inferences were deducible from the acts of the Americans in question. He quotes an alleged statement of General Anderson to the effect that:–

“Whether Admiral Dewey and Consuls Pratt, Wildman, [10] and Williams [11] did or did not give Aguinaldo assurances that a Philippino government would be recognized, the Phillippinos certainly thought so, judging from their acts rather than from their words. Admiral Dewey gave them arms and ammunition, as I did subsequently at his request.” [12]

Before discussing these charges I will briefly review certain historical facts, knowledge of which will be useful in considering them.

In August, 1896, an insurrection against Spain had broken out in the Philippines under the leadership of Emilio Aguinaldo, a resident of Cavite Viejo, who had been a school teacher, and was, at that time, _gobernadorcillo_ [13] of his town.

It had been terminated by the so-called “Treaty of Biacnabato,” signed in Manila on December 15, 1897.

This document provided for the surrender of “Don Emilio Aguinaldo, Supreme Chief of the Insurgents in arms,” and Don Marciano Llanera and Don Baldomero Aguinaldo, his subordinates, together with their soldiers and arms.

“The Excellent Senor General in Chief” of the Spanish forces was to “provide the necessary means for supporting the lives” of those who surrendered before a certain fixed date.

In actual practice what was done was to agree to pay them $800,000 [14] in three instalments, the first of $400,000, the second and third of $200,000 each.

Aguinaldo and certain other leaders were to take up their residence outside the islands. Their deportation was duly provided for, and Aguinaldo and twenty-six of his companions were taken to Hongkong, on the Spanish steamer _Uranus_; arriving there on December 31, 1897.

On January 2, 1898, $400,000 were deposited in the Hongkong Bank, to the credit of Aguinaldo and Co.

The Insurgent leaders remaining at Biacnabato had a meeting under the presidency of Isabelo Artacho, an Ilocano [15] who was the ranking officer in the absence of Aguinaldo, and requested that the second instalment, of $200,000, be paid to them. The Spanish governor-general, Primo de Rivera, acceded to their request, and they divided the money, although Aguinaldo denied their right to do so, claiming that it should have been sent to Hongkong.

The third payment of $200,000 was apparently never made. Primo de Rivera says that he turned over a check for $200,000 to his successor, General Augustin, in April, 1898; giving as his reason for refusing to pay it to the Insurgents that there seemed to him to be no prospect of its being equitably divided among those who were entitled to receive it under the agreement.

Aguinaldo and his associates claimed that certain reforms were promised by the Spanish government at the time the treaty of Biacnabato was negotiated, and as these measures were not put into effect, they organized a junta or revolutionary committee at Hongkong. It included in its membership a number of Filipino political exiles, then residing at that place.

The men who composed this organization soon fell to quarrelling and it became necessary to come to a definite understanding as to its aims. Under the arrangement finally reached, the junta, as a whole, was charged with the work of propaganda outside of the archipelago; with all diplomatic negotiations with foreign governments; and with the preparation and shipment of such articles as were needed to carry on the revolution in the Philippines. It was to be allowed voice by Aguinaldo’s government in any serious question which might arise abroad, and would aid that government in bringing the civil administration of the Philippines to the level of that of the most advanced nations.

Trouble soon arose among the former Insurgent leaders over the division of the funds deposited at Hongkong.

Taylor gives a trustworthy and concise account of the events of this period, and as it is of historic interest, and makes clear just how Aguinaldo came to go to Singapore, meet Pratt, and enter into negotiations with him, I quote extensive extracts from it. [16]

“From January 4 to April 4, Aguinaldo withdrew from the banks 5786.46 pesos in part interest on the money he had deposited. This was used to pay the expenses of himself and his companions in Hongkong. These expenses were kept at a minimum; the money was drawn and spent by him. If one of the men with him needed a new pair of shoes, Aguinaldo paid for them; if another wanted a new coat, Aguinaldo bought it. Minute accounts were kept, which are on file among his papers, and it is seen from them that his expenses were exceeding his income, which could only be 12,000 pesos a year, while he was living at the rate of 22,000, with constant demands being made upon him by men who came from the Philippines. Life was not easy under these conditions. Aguinaldo’s companions were entirely dependent upon him. Their most trivial expenses had to be approved by him, and he held them down with a strong hand. They were men living in a strange land, among a people whose language they did not speak, having nothing to do but quarrel among themselves, exiles waiting for a chance to return to their own country, which they watched with weary eyes while they guarded the embers by which they hoped to light the fires of a new insurrection.

“The men who had accompanied Aguinaldo to Hongkong were not the only Filipinos domiciled there; a number of men had taken refuge in that British colony after the events of 1872, and some of them at least had prospered. Some of them, like the members of the Cortes family, seem to have had almost no relations with the followers of Aguinaldo; some, like J. M. Basa, knew them and took part in some of the meetings of the governing groups, but were probably not admitted to their full confidence, as Aguinaldo and his immediate following wanted and were working for independence and independence alone, while the Filipinos who had long lived in Hongkong wanted to see the archipelago lost to Spain, but had no confidence in the ability of the country to stand alone or in the fitness of Aguinaldo and his following to direct the councils of a state. The character of the new refugees did not inspire confidence in these older men, who hoped for a protectorate by or annexation to the United States.

“On May 6, 1898, the consul-general of the United States there informed the State Department that D. Cortes, M. Cortes, A. Rosario, Gracio Gonzaga, and Jose Maria Basa (50), all very wealthy land-owners, bankers, and lawyers of Manila, desired to tender their allegiance and the allegiance of their powerful families in Manila to the United States, and that they had instructed all their connections to render every aid to the United States forces in Manila. On May 14 he forwarded statements of other Filipinos domiciled in Hongkong, not members of the junta, that they desired to submit their allegiance and the allegiance of their families in the Philippine Islands to the United States. One of Aguinaldo’s followers, writing somewhat later, spoke with bitterness of the rich old men who went about calling their companions ‘beggarly rebels,’ but these men were rich, and their names and their apparent adhesion to the cause represented by Aguinaldo would inspire confidence in him among men of property in the Philippines. They were, accordingly, not to be lightly alienated; therefore, at first, at least, no open break took place with them, but their attitude toward the leaders of the insurrection is shown by the fact that after the early summer of 1898 they took no, or very little, part in the insurgent movement, although they were living in Hongkong, the seat of the junta, which conducted the propaganda for the insurgent government of the Philippines.

* * * * *

“But, in fact, Aguinaldo had no just conception of the conditions and of the opportunities which were about to open before the Hongkong junta, for although war between Spain and the United States was imminent and a United States squadron was in Hongkong threatening Manila, Aguinaldo was chiefly concerned in finding how to avoid losing the money which had been received from the Spanish government as the price of his surrender. The importance of his presence near the Philippines in case of war did not occur to him, or if it did occur to him anything which he could obtain there from the aid of the United States probably seemed for the moment of little consequence compared with escaping from his wrangling companions with enough money to live on in Paris.

“Artacho, who had received 5000 pesos as his share of the second payment, arrived in Hongkong and on April 5 demanded 200,000 pesos of the insurgent funds, probably under the agreement that he should establish a company in Hongkong for the benefit of the former leaders and not merely of those who had accompanied Aguinaldo. But the leaders in Hongkong had denounced that agreement, and refused to pay. He then entered suit before the supreme court of Hongkong, calling upon Aguinaldo for an accounting of the trust funds deposited in his hands for the benefit of Artacho and others, and asked for an injunction restraining Aguinaldo or any member of the junta from handling or disposing of any part of said funds. He filed as evidence copies of the Biacnabato agreement and of the agreement made by the leaders on December 19. This suit was brought not merely in the name of Artacho, but in that of all the exiles who were described as living in exile in Hongkong in accordance with an agreement made with the Spanish Government. Artacho probably had adherents among these men, some at least of whom were utterly weary of waiting in Hongkong and of living upon what was doled out to them. Some at least saw no chance of any other fate than indefinite exile spent in dependence upon the inner group for even the means of existence.

“The suit was in equity, and called for an accounting for the trust funds which the complainant recognized were legally in the hands of Aguinaldo. It could be carried on only with great difficulty without his presence and without his account books. Meetings were held, and Artacho was denounced as attempting to extort blackmail, but he refused to yield, and Aguinaldo, rather than explain the inner workings of the Hongkong junta before a British court, prepared for flight. A summons was issued for his appearance before the supreme court of Hongkong on April 13, 1898, but he was by that time beyond its jurisdiction.

“He drew out the 50,000 pesos from the Chartered Bank, which had become due according to the terms of the deposit, and perhaps such other sums as could be drawn upon by check, engaged passage for Europe by way of Singapore for G. H. del Pilar, J. M. Leyba, and himself under assumed names, appointed V. Belarmino to succeed to his functions, and gave him checks signed in blank to draw the interest of the sums on deposit to provide for the support of the exiles. He gave as his reason for departure that he was going to remain under cover until Artacho could be bought off, but he intended to go far afield for this purpose, as he gave his destination as Europe and the United States.

“Aguinaldo and his companions probably sailed from Hongkong on April 8, 1898, and arrived in Singapore on April 21, after stopping in Saigon. War between the United States and Spain had been rendered inevitable by the resolution of Congress demanding that Spain should withdraw her forces from Cuba, and was declared on April 21. Although Aguinaldo and his followers did not appreciate the influence which conditions on the other side of the world might have upon the future of the Philippines, it happened that in Singapore at that time there was an Englishman named Bray who did. He had been a member of the civil service in India, and had lived for some years in the Philippines, but he had fallen upon evil days and was engaged in writing letters to the Singapore _Free Press_ upon the Philippines, and in retailing such information as was in his possession concerning them to the United States consul-general in Singapore, Mr. E. Spencer Pratt, for transmittal to Commodore Dewey. Bray heard of the arrival of Aguinaldo and realized what could be done with him, and that if the matter were well handled it might be to his own advantage. He went at once to see Aguinaldo and informed him that the United States consul-general was anxious to see him. He went to the consul-general and informed him of the importance of Aguinaldo, and that he was in Singapore. Aguinaldo had to be persuaded to agree to a meeting. The consul-general was anxious for it, and it took place, according to Aguinaldo, on the night of April 22 (according to Pratt, on the morning of April 24). The statement made by Aguinaldo is probably correct. According to his account book, he paid $11 on April 23, 1898, for a telegram to the Hongkong junta concerning the negotiations ‘with America.’

“Aguinaldo knew but little English, Pratt knew no Spanish, so in their interview Bray acted as interpreter. An interpreter who is interested in the subject of the discussion may be a dangerous man. It is impossible to say what he told Aguinaldo. Certainly Pratt did not know; but whatever was said during these conversations it is within the limits of possibility that Pratt may have been made to say by the interpreter more than he intended, and that his statements of what would probably be granted by the United States Government and his expression of good wishes for the cause of Filipino independence may have been translated as assurances and as promises. Bray, who, according to his Filipino former friends, was apt to talk too much, may have talked too much on this occasion, and so the myth of the formal agreement between Aguinaldo on behalf of the Filipino insurgents and Pratt on behalf of the United States grew up, a fiction which Bray himself, with a natural desire to add to his own importance, did his best to circulate.

“Bray did not ask for his reward at the time, but probably reckoned upon making himself indispensable as an adviser, so that later he could make his own terms. For a time he wrote letters of advice to Aguinaldo, which may have had some influence upon the line of conduct which he adopted, and later was employed in furnishing from Hongkong news to various newspapers of events and conditions in the Philippines. His cablegrams shortly before the outbreak of hostilities between the United States and the insurgents were more picturesque than veracious, but they were apparently considered effective, as Aguinaldo ordered that he should be given $5000. He wanted more, but the Hongkong junta did not trust him, and he ceased to be in their employment.” [17]

As we shall see, Bray did not do all of the interpreting at Singapore, and we shall be able to determine with some accuracy what actually transpired there.

We can now consider understandingly the charges made against Pratt and Dewey.

It has been claimed over and over again, that Pratt promised Aguinaldo recognition of tile independence of the Philippines if he and his people would cooperate with the United States forces against Spain.

Aguinaldo himself made the charge in his “Resena Veridica” [18] in the following words:–

“In this interview Consul Pratt told me that because the Spaniards had not complied with the agreement of Biac-na-bato, the Filipinos had a right to renew their interrupted revolution and advised me to take up arms anew against Spain, assuring me that America would give the Filipinos the greatest advantages (mayores ventajas). Then I asked the Consul what advantages the United States would concede to the Philippines, suggesting, when I had the proper opening, the propriety of making an agreement in writing, to which the Consul answered that he would report, by telegraph, on the subject to Mr. Dewey, who was the chief of the expedition against the Philippines, and who had ample powers from President McKinley.

“On the following day, between 10 and 12 in the morning, we again took up the matter, Consul Pratt saying that the admiral had answered my inquiry by saying that the United States would at least recognize the independence of the Philippine government under a naval protectorate, but that there was no necessity to put it in writing, as the words of the admiral and the American consul were sacred and would be fulfilled, not being like those of the Spaniards, and finally, that the Government of North America was a very honourable Government, a very just and very powerful one.” [19]

On April 27, 1908, Pratt telegraphed the Secretary of State as follows:–

“General Aguinaldo gone my instance Hongkong arrange with Dewey cooeperation insurgents Manila.


On the 28th he wrote the Secretary, explaining how he had come to meet Aguinaldo, and stating just what he had done. He said:–

“At this interview, after learning from General Aguinaldo the state of an object sought to be obtained by the present insurrectionary movement, which, though absent from the Philippines, he was still directing, I took it upon myself, whilst explaining that I had no authority to speak for the Government, to point out the danger of continuing independent action at this stage; and, having convinced him of the expediency of cooperating with our fleet, then at Hongkong, and obtained the assurance of his willingness to proceed thither and confer with Commodore Dewey to that end, should the latter so desire, I telegraphed the Commodore the same day as follows, through our consul-general at Hongkong:–

“‘Aguinaldo, insurgent leader, here. Will come Hongkong arrange with Commodore for general cooperation insurgents Manila if desired. Telegraph.


The Commodore’s reply read thus:–

“‘Tell Aguinaldo come soon as possible.


Pratt adds:–

“I received it late at night, and at once communicated to General Aguinaldo, who, with his aide-de-camp and private secretary, all under assumed names, I succeeded in getting off by the British Steamer _Malacca_, which left here on Tuesday the 26th.

“Just previous to his departure, I had a second and last interview with General Aguinaldo, the particulars of which I shall give you by next mail.

“The general impressed me as a man of intelligence, ability, and courage, and worthy the confidence that had been placed in him.

“I think that in arranging for his direct cooperation with the commander of our forces, I have prevented possible conflict of action and facilitated the work of occupying and administering the Philippines.

“If this course of mine meets with the Government’s approval, as I trust it may, I shall be fully satisfied; to Mr. Bray, however, I consider there is due some special recognition for most valuable services rendered.

“How that recognition can best be made I leave to you to decide.

“I have, etc.” [20]

It will be noted that Pratt explained to Aguinaldo that he had no authority to speak for the government; that there was no mention in the cablegrams between Pratt and Dewey of independence or indeed of any conditions on which Aguinaldo was to cooeperate, these details being left for future arrangement with Dewey; and that Pratt thought that he had prevented possible conflict of action and facilitated the work of occupying and administering the Philippines.

The particulars as to the second and last interview between Aguinaldo and Pratt were embodied in the following letter:–

“No. 213. _Consulate-General of the United States._

“_Singapore_, April 30, 1898.

“_Sir_: Referring to my dispatch No. 212, of the 28th instant, I have the honor to report that in the second and last interview I had with Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo on the eve of his departure for Hongkong, I enjoined upon him the necessity, under Commodore Dewey’s direction, of exerting absolute control over his forces in the Philippines, as no excesses on their part would be tolerated by the American Government, the President having declared that the present hostilities with Spain were to be carried on in strict accord with modern principles of civilized warfare.

“To this General Aguinaldo fully assented, assuring me that he intended and was perfectly able, once on the field, to hold his followers, the insurgents, in check and lead them as our commander should direct.

“The general stated that he hoped the United States would assume protection of the Philippines for at least long enough to allow the inhabitants to establish a government of their own, in the organization of which he would desire American advice and assistance.

“These questions I told him I had no authority to discuss.

“I have, etc.,

“_E. Spencer Pratt_,

“_United States Consul-General_.”

In a subsequent communication written on July 28, 1898, Pratt made the following statement:–

“I declined even to discuss with General Aguinaldo the question of the future policy of the United States with regard to the Philippines, that I held out no hopes to him of any kind, committed the government in no way whatever, and, in the course of our confidences, never acted upon the assumption that the Government would cooperate with him–General Aguinaldo–for the furtherance of any plans of his own, nor that, in accepting his said cooperation, it would consider itself pledged to recognize any political claims which he might put forward.” [21]

What reason if any is there for denying the truth of this allegation?

I will give in full Blount’s statement as to what occurred at a meeting held at Singapore, to celebrate the early successes of Dewey and Aguinaldo, as it constitutes his nearest approach to a direct claim, that any one at any time promised independence:–

“First there was music by the band. Then followed the formal reading and presentation of the address by a Dr. Santos, representing the Filipino community of Singapore. The address pledged the ‘eternal gratitude’ of the Filipino people to Admiral Dewey and the honored addressee; alluded to the glories of independence, and to how Aguinaldo had been enabled; by the arrangement so happily effected with Admiral Dewey by Consul Pratt, to arouse eight millions of Filipinos to take up arms ‘in defence of those principles of justice and liberty of which your country is the foremost champion’ and trusted ‘that the United States… will efficaciously second the programme arranged between you, sir, and General Aguinaldo in this port of Singapore, and secure to us our independence under the protection of the United States.’

“Mr. Pratt arose and ‘proceeded, speaking in French,’ says the newspaper–it does not say Alabama French, but that is doubtless what it was–‘to state his belief that the Filipinos would prove and were now proving themselves fit for self-government.’ The gentleman from Alabama then went on to review the mighty events and developments of the preceding six weeks, Dewey’s victory of May Ist, ‘the brilliant achievements of your own distinguished leader, General Emilio Aguinaldo, _cooperating on land with the Americans at sea_,’ etc. ‘You have just reason to be proud of what has been and is being accomplished by General Aguinaldo and your fellow-countrymen under his command. When, six weeks ago, I learned that General Aguinaldo had arrived _incognito_ in Singapore, I immediately _sought him out_. An hour’s interview convinced me that he _was the man for the occasion_; and, having communicated with Admiral Dewey, I accordingly arranged for him to join the latter, which he did at Cavite. The rest you know.'” [22]

Now, it happens that Dr. Santos himself forwarded his speech, and his version of Pratt’s reply thereto, in a letter to Aguinaldo, dated Singapore, June 9, 1898. As he served as interpreter, he, if any one, should know what Pratt said. After describing the change in tone of the Singapore _Free Press_, with which strained relations had formerly existed, and the subsequent friendliness of the editor of this paper and that of the _Straits Times_, he says that on the previous afternoon he went with the other Filipinos to greet Pratt. He continues:–

“This occasion was unusually opportune by reason of ours having been victorious and immediately after the cry of our worthy chief which found an echo in this colony. For this purpose 30 or more Filipinos–9 of the higher class, 15 musicians and the remainder of the middle class–went to greet Consul A., here, and on the invitation of Mr. Bray we ascended. He received us in his private office, and it was imposing to see that the only decoration was the American flag which covered the desk, and in its centre, a carved wooden frame holding the portrait of our worthy chief. He shook hands with all of us, and I introduced them all. We found there also, and were introduced to, the Editor of the _Straits Times_ and the _Free Press_ of here, and after being thus assembled, after a musical selection, I read the following speech in French:–

“‘_His Excellency, The Consul General of the United States of America in Singapore_:

“‘_Your Excellency_: The Filipinos of all social classes residing in this port, have come to greet Your Excellency as the genuine representative of the great and powerful American Republic in order to express to you our eternal gratitude for the moral and material support given by Admiral Dewey to our General Aguinaldo in his campaign for the liberty of eight million Filipinos. The latter and we ourselves hope that the United States, your nation, persevering in its humanitarian policy, will without cessation and (with) decided energy continue to support the programme agreed upon in Singapore between Your Excellency and General Aguinaldo, that is to say, the Independence of the Philippine Islands, under an American protectorate. Accept our cordial acknowledgments and congratulations on being the first one in accepting and supporting this idea which time and events have well developed to the great satisfaction of our nation. Finally, we request you, Most Excellent Sir, to express to your worthy President and the American Republic, our sincere acknowledgments and our fervent wishes for their prosperity. I have concluded.’

“The Consul replied hereto in French, in more or less the following terms:–

“‘You have nothing to thank me for, because I have only faithfully followed the instructions received from my Government; the fact of the sudden departure of your General will permit you to infer that I have done so. I shall in any case inform my Government of your good wishes and I thank you in its name. You know that your wishes are mine also, and for this reason at the last interview I had with Mr. Aguinaldo, I repeated to him that he should observe the greatest humanity possible in the war, in order that our army, our soldiers, our nation and all the other nations may see that you are humane and not savages, as has erroneously been believed.’

“After this there was enthusiastic applause for the Consul; he offered us all cigars, glasses of very fine sherry, and lemonade for the musicians and the majority. The toasts were offered with the sherry by your humble servant, Sres. Cannon, Enriquez, Celio, Reyes, the Consul, the editors of the _Free Press_, _Straits Times_ and Mr. Bray. We drank to America and her humanitarian work of redemption; to the Philippines with America; we gave thanks to the Consul, to Mr. Bray as an important defender; we drank to the _Free Press_ for taking such an interest in our affairs, and to the _Straits Times_ (sarcastically); but I was very careful not to propose a toast to our general, which was done at the proper time by ‘Flaco’ [23] when we gave three cheers; for the sake of courtesy we cheered for England, which had been so hospitable to us, and when everybody had become quiet, the Editor of the _Straits Times_ took his glass in his hand and cried in a loud voice, ‘The Philippine Republic,’ to which we all responded. ‘Flaco’ disappeared a moment, and when he returned he brought with him the American flag, and formally presented it to us in French, which I interpreted to all in Spanish, as follows: ‘Gentlemen: The American Consul, with his deep affection for us, presents us this flag as the greatest and most expressive remembrance which he can give us. The red stripes stand for the generous blood of her sons, shed to obtain her liberty; the white stripes stand for her virginity and purity as our country; the blue background indicates the sky and each star represents a free and independent State; this is America, and the Consul is desirous that we also should have so glorious a history as hers and that it may be as brilliant as could be wished, securing peace with respect, and may God be our help and guide in securing liberty. Viva and with it our most sincere thanks for so signal a courtesy.’ Hereupon, to the surprise of everybody as no one expected it, the Consul requested that some Filipino airs be played which seemed to please him very much. Finally, about 6.15, we left, very well satisfied with the reception accorded us and the kindness of the Consul. Mr. Bray asked me for the text of my speech, which I insert above and I secured from the Consul his French text, which I enclose in my letter to Naning. Without anything further for the present, awaiting your reply and your opinion as to the above, as also orders and instructions for the future, I am,

“Yours, etc.

(Signed) “_Isidoro de los Santos_.”

To this letter Major Taylor has appended the following note:–

“(_Note by Compiler._–In a letter written in Tagalog to Aguinaldo on June 6 by Santos he describes the American consul general as having cried out ‘Hurrah for General Aguinaldo, hurrah for the Republic of the Philippines’ and then, having apparently taken several drinks, he passed up and down the room waving the American flag before giving it to the assembled Filipinos (P.I.R., 406.7).)” [24]

This final statement does not present the representative of the United States government at Singapore in a very favourable light, but I take the facts as I find them. If now we compare the speech actually made by Dr. Santos with Blount’s version of it, we shall find that with the exception of the words “eternal gratitude” the passages which he encloses in quotation marks are not in the original at all. The glories of independence are not alluded to, nor is there so much as a suggestion that Aguinaldo had been enabled to arouse eight millions of Filipinos to take up arms, which he certainly had not done.

Dr. Santos in his speech did resort to a stereotyped Filipino procedure so very commonly employed that those of us who have dealt much with his people have learned to meet it almost automatically. It consists in referring to one’s having said just exactly what one did not say, and then if one fails to note the trap and avoid it, in claiming that because one did not deny the allegation one has admitted its truth.

Aguinaldo himself later repeatedly resorted to this procedure in his dealings with Dewey and others.

In the present instance Santos employed it rather cleverly when he expressed the hope that the United States would “continue to support the programme agreed upon in Singapore, between your Excellency and General Aguinaldo, that is to say, the independence of the Philippine Islands under an American protectorate.”

Now if this was agreed to, Aguinaldo later constantly violated his part of the agreement, for we shall see that he stated over and over again, in correspondence with members of the junta and others, that a protectorate would be considered only if absolute independence finally proved unattainable, but there is no reason to believe that any such agreement was made.

Dr. Santos read his speech to Mr. Pratt in French. Blount implies, whether rightly or wrongly I do not know, that Pratt’s knowledge of French was poor. At all events Pratt in his reply made not the slightest reference to the hope expressed by Santos that the United States would continue to support the programme which Santos said had been agreed upon between Pratt and Aguinaldo, and claim of a promise of independence based on these speeches must obviously be abandoned. There is no doubt that Pratt personally sympathized with the ambitions of the Filipino leaders, and openly expressed his sympathy on this and other occasions, but to do this was one thing and to have attempted to compromise his government would have been another and very different one. The shrewd Filipinos with whom he was dealing understood this difference perfectly well.

It is a regrettable fact that there exists some reason to believe that his sympathy was not purely disinterested. Aguinaldo claims that Pratt wished to be appointed “representative of the Philippines in the United States to promptly secure the official recognition of our independence” and that he promised him “a high post in the customs service.” [25]

It will be noted that several sentences and phrases in Blount’s statement are enclosed in quotation marks. From what were they quoted? The next paragraph in his book tells us:–

“Says the newspaper clipping which has preserved the Pratt oration: At the conclusion of Mr. Pratt’s speech, refreshments were served, and as the Filipinos, _being Christians, drink alcohol_, there was no difficulty in arranging as to refreshments.” [26]

The use of this clipping from the Singapore _Free Press_ illustrates admirably Blount’s methods. The _Free Press_ had at first displayed a marked coldness toward the insurgent cause, but its editor, Mr. St. Clair, was opportunely “seen” by Bray, who reported that as a result of his visit, both the editor and the paper would thereafter be friendly, and they were. In other words, the _Free Press_ became the Singapore organ of the insurrection, and its editor, according to Bray, “a true and loyal friend” of Aguinaldo.

Blount claims to have made “an exhaustive examination of the records of that period.” [27] Why then did he use as evidence a newspaper clipping from an Insurgent organ, instead of Santos’s letter?

Blount endeavours to make capital out of the fact that Pratt forwarded to the State Department a proclamation which he says was gotten up by the Insurgent leaders at Hongkong and sent to the Philippines in advance of Aguinaldo’s coming. He says that it was headed “America’s Allies” and quotes from it as follows:–

“Compatriots: Divine Providence is about to place independence within our reach…. The Americans, not from mercenary motives, but for the sake of humanity and the lamentations of so many persecuted people, have considered it opportune, etc. [Here follows a reference to Cuba.] At the present moment an American squadron is preparing to sail for the Philippines…. The Americans will attack by sea and prevent any reenforcements coming from Spain; … we insurgents must attack by land. Probably you will have more than sufficient arms, because the Americans have arms and will find means to assist us. _There where you see the American flag flying, assemble in numbers; they are our redeemers!_” [28]

The translation that he used is that given in Senate Document No. 62, L. 60, and is none too accurate. He allows it to be inferred that this proclamation was actually issued. It was not. Its history is as follows:–

On May 16, 1898, J. M. Basa, a Filipino, who had lived in Hongkong since 1872, on account of his connection with the troubles of that year, wrote letters [29] to a number of friends recommending the widest possible circulation of a proclamation enclosed therewith, as an aid to the American policy in the Philippines “in the war against the tyrannical friars and the Spaniards.”

With these letters there were sent two different proclamations, each beginning with the words “Fellow Countrymen.” The first, which is the one referred to by Blount, continues:–

“Divine Providence places us in a position to secure our independence, and this under the freest form to which all individuals, all people, all countries, may aspire.

“The Americans, more for humanity than for self-interest, attentive to the complaints of so many persecuted Filipinos, find it opportune to extend to our Philippines their protective mantle, now that they find themselves obliged to break their friendship with the Spanish people, because of the tyranny they have exercised in Cuba, causing all Americans, with whom they have great commercial relations, enormous damages.

“At this moment an American fleet is prepared to go to the Philippines.

“We, your fellow-countrymen, fear that you will make use of your arms to fire upon the Americans. No, brothers; do not make such a mistake; rather (shoot) kill yourselves than treat our liberators as enemies.

“Do not pay attention to the decree of Primo de Rivera, calling on you to enlist for the war, for that will cost you your lives: rather die than act as ingrates toward our redeemers, the Americans.

* * * * *

“Note well that the Americans have to attack by sea, at the same time avoiding reinforcements which may come from Spain; therefore the insurrection must attack by land. Perhaps you will have more than sufficient arms, as the Americans have arms, and will find the means to aid you.

“Whenever you see the American flag, bear in mind that they are our redeemers.” [30]

On the margin is written: “Viva, for America with the Philippines!”

Apparently what Basa here means by independenee is independence from Spain, for it is known that he was in favour of annexation to the United States, and in the second proclamation we find the following:–

“This is the best opportunity which we have ever had for eontriving that our country (all the Philippine Archipelago) may be counted as another Star in the Great Republic of the United States, great because of its wisdom, its wealth, and its constitutional laws.

“Now is the time to offer ourselves to that great nation. With America we shall have development in the broadest sense (of advancement) in civilization.

“With America we shall be rich, civilized and happy.

“Fellow patriots, add your signatures to those which have already been given. Explain to all our fellow eountrymen the benefits of this change, which will be blessed by Heaven, by men and by our children.

“Viva America with the Philippines!!!” [31]

The letters were undoubtedly given to Aguinaldo for delivery on his arrival. They were never delivered, and it is reasonable to suppose, espeeially as Basa, who was a man of importance and means, was a member of the group who desired annexation to the United States, that Aguinaldo took the letters along in order to avoid a rupture with him and then quietly suppressed them. Obviously, however, he sent or gave a copy of the first one to Pratt, presumably without the written words: “Viva, for America with the Philippines!”

And now comes a bit of evidence as to what occurred at Singapore which I consider incontrovertible.

Aguinaldo returned promptly to Hongkong and on May 4, 1898, a meeting of the junta was held. The minutes of this meeting, [32] signed by each of the several Filipinos present, form a part of the Insurgent records which have come into the possession of the United States Government. They state among other things that:–

“The temporary Secretary read the minutes of the preceding meeting, which were approved. The temporary President reported that D. Emilio Aguinaldo had just arrived from Singapore and it became necessary for him to take possession of the office to which he has been elected.”

After the transaction of some further business Aguinaldo was summoned, appeared at the meeting, and was duly installed as President. Then:–

“The President described the negotiations which took place during his absence in Singapore with the American Consul of that English colony. Both agreed that the President should confer with the Admiral commanding the American squadron in Mirs Bay, and if the latter should accept his propositions, advantageous, in his judgment, to the Philippines, he would go to said country in one of the cruisers which form the fleet for the purpose of taking part in the present events. And as he did not find the Admiral, he thought it well to have an interview with the American Consul of this colony on the day of his arrival, but was not satisfied with such interview.

“Considering the critical conditions in the Philippines at present, he begged the committee to discuss the advisability of his going to said islands with all the leaders of prominence in the last rebellion residing in this colony, in case the Admiral gave them an opportunity to do so.”

Note that there is here absolutely not one word of any promise of independence made to Aguinaldo by Pratt or any one else. Is it conceivable that Aguinaldo in describing “the negotiations which took place during his absence in Singapore with the American Consul of the English Colony” would, by any chance, have failed to inform his associates in Hongkong of such an extraordinary and fortunate occurrence as the promising by Mr. Pratt and Admiral Dewey that the United States would recognize Philippine independence?

Sandico [33] thought that Aguinaldo ought to go, for–

“From conferences which he had with the Admiral of the American fleet and with the American Consul in this colony, he believed that under present conditions it was absolutely necessary for the President to go to the Philippines, since, according to the American Consul, Manila had been taken by said fleet, and a provisional government was now being formed in that capital. The intervention of the President in the formation of that government is undoubtedly essential, since his prestige, which everybody recognizes, would evidently prevent dissensions among the sons of the country, and it would be possible thereby to obtain a perfect organization both for the military and civil evolution of that country.

“Srs. Garchitorena [34] and Apacible [35] expressed themselves in similar terms. Notwithstanding the previous remarks, the President insisted that he considered it reckless for him to go to the Philippines without first making a written agreement with the Admiral, as it might happen, if he placed himself at his orders, that he might make him subscribe to or sign a document containing proposals highly prejudicial to the interests of the country, from which might arise the following two very grave contingencies:

“1st. If he should accept them, he would undoubtedly commit an unpatriotic act, and his name would justly be eternally cursed by the Filipinos.

“2d. If he should refuse, then the break between the two would be evident.

“And to avoid this sad dilemma, he proposed to the committee that the four parties (?) of the insurgents now here, under charge of the competent chiefs authorized in writing by him, should go to the Philippines to intervene, after a conference with the Admiral, in these important questions; such means, in his opinion, should be first employed to ascertain in an authentic manner what the intentions of the United States in regard to that country are; and if his intervention is absolutely necessary, he would not object to go at once to the Philippines, endeavouring by all the means in his power to remedy the critical condition of the country, to which he had offered, and always would willingly offer, to sacrifice his life.”

Why adopt means to learn from the admiral what the intentions of the United States were in regard to the Philippines if both he and Pratt had already promised recognition of independence?

“Srs. Sandico, Garchitorena, Gonzaga [36] and Apacible replied that they were fully convinced the Admiral of the American squadron would furnish the President all the arms which he might desire, since the former was convinced that the fleet could do nothing in the Philippines unless it were used in conjunction with the insurgents in the development of their plans of war against the Spanish government…. The authority to treat which the President desired to give to the other chiefs, without reflecting at all upon their personal qualifications, they did not believe would be as efficacious as his personal intervention which is necessary in grave affairs, such as those the subject of discussion; there would be no better occasion than that afforded them to insure the landing of the expeditionary forces on those islands and to arm themselves at the expense of the Americans and to assure the situation of the Philippines in regard to our legitimate aspirations against those very people. The Filipino people, unprovided with arms, would be the victims of the demands and exactions of the United States; but, provided with arms, would be able to oppose themselves to them, struggling for independence, in which consists the true happiness of the Philippines. And they finished by saying that it made no difference if the Spanish government did demand the return of the P400,000, and if the demand were allowed in an action, since the object of the sum would be obtained by the Admiral furnishing the Filipinos the arms which they required for the struggle for their legitimate aspirations.”

Here, then, was a definite plan to obtain arms from the Americans to be used if necessary “against those very people” later.

“The President, with his prestige in the Philippines, would be able to arouse those masses to combat the demands of the United States, if they colonized that country, and would drive them, if circumstances rendered it necessary, to a Titanic struggle for their independence, even if they should succumb in shaking off the yoke of a new oppressor. If Washington proposed to carry out the fundamental principles of its constitution, there was no doubt that it would not attempt to colonize the Philippines, or even to annex them. It was probable then that it would give them independence and guarantee it; in such case the presence of the President was necessary, as he would prevent dissensions among the sons of the country who sought office, who might cause the intervention of European powers, an intervention which there was no reason to doubt would be highly prejudicial to the interests of the country…. What injury could come to the Philippines, even if we admitted that the Admiral would not give arms to the President on account of his refusal to sign a document prejudicial to the country, after he had taken all means to provide for her defence? None. Such an act of the President could not be censured, but, on the other hand, would be most meritorious, because it would be one proof more of his undoubted patriotism.”

Not one word of any promise of independence do we find in this remarkable document. On the contrary it furnishes conclusive proof that no such promise had been made and that the future relations between Filipinos and Americans were still completely uncertain.

And now comes some direct evidence. Bray and St. Clair, the latter the editor of the Insurgent organ in Singapore, were present on the occasion when independence was said to have been promised by Pratt. Bray subsequently declared in the most positive terms that it was promised. St. Clair wrote him a letter taking him roundly to task for this claim, in the following very interesting terms:–

“I felt it to be my duty to let Pratt know that you still hold that you and Santos have evidence that will controvert his, (and) he was, of course, extremely disappointed, because he (is) quite aware of what took place in Spanish, and as to turning of his conversation into a pretense of agreement he knows nothing. He says very truly: ‘My own party, the Democrats, will say if they read this book–If this man takes it upon himself to be a Plenipotentiary without authority, we had better not employ him any more–I frankly cannot understand your action, as to its unwisdom I have no doubt at all.’

“Admiral Dewey goes home, it is believed, to advise the President on Naval and Colonial Affairs, he knows exactly what did take place and what did not, and I should know if he had any ground to think that the slightest promise was made by Pratt to Aguinaldo he would declare it unauthorized and decline to sanction it. I am certain Pratt reported what he supposed took place accurately; he had no surety on what you might have said, naturally.

“And, curiously, you never mentioned to me anything of the agreement as having taken place then, nor in the paper you communicated to me was there any mention of one, nor did Pratt know of any. It is only more recently that the fiction took shape. ‘The wish father to the thought,’ or the statement repeated till it has become believed by the–, [37] this is common.

“Now I would like to urge you, from the practical point of view, to drop any such foolishness. The vital thing, and nothing else counts, is what Dewey said and did when he at last met Aguinaldo. That, that, that, is the thing, all else is empty wind.

“Supposing that Pratt and Wildman had covered inches of paper with ‘Clauses’ and put on a ton of sealing wax as consular seals, what, pray, to any common sense mind would all that have been worth? Nothing!! Nothing!! And yet, where is the agreement, where is the seal? Where are there any signatures? And if you had them–waste paper–believe me, that all this potter about Pratt and Wildman is energy misdirected. The sole thing to have impressed upon the public in America would be the chaining of Dewey and Aguinaldo together as participants in common action; you surely comprehend this means! Think and think again; it means success as far as it is possible. The other work is not only lost, but does not gain much sympathy, especially this criticism of the conduct of American troops; things may be true that are not expedient to say. Sink everything into Dewey-Aguinaldo cooeperation, that was on both sides honest even if it did not imply any actual arrangement, which, of course, Dewey himself could not make. That here you have the facts,–undenied–incontrovertible.” [38]

The following letter of Bray to Aguinaldo, dated January 12, 1899, seems to me to throw much light on the question of how these claims relative to the promised recognition of Filipino independence sometimes originated and were bolstered up:–

“With regard to your proclamation, there is still a trump card to be played. Did you not say that the basis of any negotiation in Singapore was the Independence of the Philippines under an American protectorate? This is what Consul Pratt telegraphed and to which Dewey and Washington agreed; as I figured up the ‘price’ of the telegram, I know very well what occurred, and I am ready to state it and to swear to it when the proper time comes. There are five of us against one in the event of Consul Pratt receiving instructions to deny it. Furthermore, Mr. St. Clair knows what happened and I am certain that he also would testify. St. Clair still has the rough draft as an histerical relic, and St. Clair is a true and loyal friend of yours, as is your humble servant.” [39]

The utter unscrupulousness of Bray is shown by his claim that St. Clair would confirm his false statements, made as it was after receiving St. Clair’s letter above quoted.

But Bray did not wait for Aguinaldo to play this trump card. He tried to play it himself by cabling Senator Hoar, on the same day, that as the man who introduced General Aguinaldo to the American government through the consul at Singapore he was prepared to swear that the conditions under which Aguinaldo promised to cooperate with Dewey were independence under a protectorate. [40]

Let us now trace Aguinaldo’s subsequent movements, and see what promises, if any, were made to him by Wildman and Dewey. He had returned to Hongkong with two companions, all travelling under assumed names. Only his most trusted friends among the members of the junta were at first allowed to know where he was living.

His situation was a difficult one. It was necessary for him to come to some sort of a temporary arrangement with Artacho, if he was to avoid legal difficulties, and to reestablish himself with some of his companions, who had accused him of deserting with the intention of going to Europe to live on money which belonged to them. When harmony had been temporarily restored through the good offices of Sandico, Aguinaldo had an interview with Consul General Wildman. He has since claimed that Wildman, too, promised him independence, but the truth seems to be that he himself said he was anxious to become an American citizen. This being impossible, he wanted to return to the Philippines and place himself under Dewey’s orders. He wanted to help throw off the yoke of Spain, and this done, would abide by the decision of the United States as to the fate of the Philippines. [41]

Any claim that Aguinaldo had been promised independence by Wildman, or, indeed, that the latter had been allowed to know that the Filipinos desired it, seems to me to be negatived, not only by Wildman’s own statements, but by a letter from Agoncillo to Aguinaldo written on August 5, 1908, in which he says:–

“The American consul left my house to-day at 3 o’clock, as I had requested an interview with him before his departure, and I was unable to go to the Consulate on account of the swelling of my feet. From our conversation I infer that independence will be given to us. I did not, however, disclose to him our true desires…. Said consul approved my telegram to McKinley, which has been sent to-day through him, a copy of which is herewith enclosed. If they accept our representative in the commission, we may arrive at a friendly understanding, and it will enable us to prepare for the fight in case they refuse to listen to our request. On the other hand, if at the very beginning they refuse to admit our representative, we will at once be in a position to know what should be done, _i.e._ to prepare for war.” [42]

On May 4, 1898, the Hongkong junta voted that Aguinaldo ought to go to the Philippines, and go he did. It would seem that he at first gave up the idea of joining Dewey, for on May 11 he wrote a cipher letter, giving minute directions for the preparation of signals to assist his ship in making land, by day or by night, at Dingalan Bay on the east coast of Luzon; directing the capture of the town of San Antonio, just back of Capones Islands, in Zambales, and ending with the words: “We will surely arrive at one of the two places above mentioned, so you must be prepared.”

Something led him again to change his mind, and he finally sailed on the _McCulloch_.

In his “Resena Veridica” written later for political purposes, Aguinaldo has definitely claimed that Dewey promised him that the United States would recognize the independence of the Filipino people. I will let him tell his own story, confronting his statements with those of the admiral.

“May 19, 1898.

“The _McCulloch_ started at eleven o’clock on the morning of the 17th of May for the Philippines; we anchored, between twelve and one o’clock on the afternoon of the 19th, in the waters of Cavite, and immediately the launch of the Admiral–with his aid and private secretary–came to convey me to the _Olympia_, where I was received, with my aid, Sr. Leyva, with the honors of a general, by a section of marine guards.” [43]

Relative to this matter, Admiral Dewey has testified: [44]

“_The Chairman_. You, of course, never saluted the flag?

_Admiral Dewey_. Certainly not; and I do not think I ever called Aguinaldo anything but Don Emilio; I don’t think I ever called him ‘General.’

_The Chairman_. And when he came on board ship was he received with any special honors at the side?

_Admiral Dewey_. Never.”

The “Resena Veridica” continues:–

“The Admiral received me in a salon, and after greetings of courtesy I asked him ‘if all the telegrams relative to myself which he had addressed to the Consul at Singapore, Mr. Pratt, were true.’ He replied in the affirmative, and added, ‘that the United States had come to the Philippines to protect its natives and free them from the yoke of Spain.’

“He said, moreover, that ‘America was rich in territory and money, and needed no colonies,’ concluding by assuring me, ‘to have no doubt whatever about the recognition of Philippine independence by the United States.’ Thereupon he asked me if I could get the people to arise against the Spaniards and carry on a rapid campaign.” [45]

As we have seen, Dewey sent only one telegram to Pratt about Aguinaldo. It merely directed that the latter be sent.

“I then expressed to him my profound acknowledgement for the generous help which the United States was giving the Filipino people, as well as my admiration for the magnificence and goodness of the American people. I also stated to him that ‘before leaving Hongkong, the Filipino Colony had held a meeting, at which was discussed and considered the possibility that–after defeating the Spaniards–the Filipinos might have a war with the Americans, if they should refuse to recognize our independence, who were sure to defeat us because they should find us tired out, poor in ammunitions and worn out in the war against the Spaniards,’ requesting that he pardon my frankness.

“The Admiral replied that he ‘was delighted at my sincerity, and believed that both Filipinos and Americans should treat each other as allies and friends, clearly explaining all doubts for the better understanding between both parties,’ and added that, ‘so he had been informed, the United States would recognize the independence of the Filipino people, guaranteed by the word of honor of the Americans,–more binding than documents which may remain unfulfilled when it is desired to fail in them as happened with the compacts signed by the Spaniards, advising me to form at once a Filipino national flag, offering in virtue thereof to recognize and protect it before the other nations, which were represented by the various squadrons then in the Bay; although he said we should conquer the power from the Spaniards before floating said flag, so that the act should be more honourable in the sight of the whole world, and, above all, before the United States, in order that when the Filipino ships with their national flag would pass before the foreign squadrons they should inspire respect and esteem.’

“Again I thanked the Admiral for his good advice and generous offers, informing him that if the sacrifice of my life was necessary to honor the Admiral before the United States, I was then ready to sacrifice it.

“I added that under such conditions I could assure him that all the Filipino people would unite in the revolution to shake off the yoke of Spain; that it was not strange that some few were not yet on his side on account of lack of arms or because of personal expediency.

“Thus ended this first conference with Admiral Dewey, to whom I announced that I would take up my residence at the Naval Headquarters in the Cavite Arsenal.” [46]

Further on, in the same document, Aguinaldo advances the claim that on the occasion of the visit of General Anderson and Admiral Dewey the latter again promised him independence.

He says:–

“In the same month of July, the Admiral, accompanied by General Anderson, presented himself, and after greetings of courtesy said to me: ‘You have seen confirmed all of what I promised and said to you. How pretty your flag is. It has a triangle, and it looks like Cuba’s. Will you give me one as a reminder when I return to America?’

“I replied to him that I was convinced of his word of honour and that there was no necessity whatever to draw up in documentary form his agreements, and as for the flag, that he could count on it, even at that very moment.

“Dewey continued: ‘Documents are not complied with when there is no honour, as has happened with your agreement with the Spaniards, who have failed in what was written and signed. Trust in my word for I hold myself responsible that the United States will recognize the independence of the country. But I recommend to you [plural.–TR.] to keep everything which we have talked about and agreed upon with a great deal of secrecy for the present. And, moreover, I entreat you [plural.–TR.] to be patient if our soldiers should insult some Filipino, because, as volunteers, they are yet lacking in discipline.'” [47]

Admiral Dewey has testified as follows, concerning the recognition of Philippine independence by him:–

“_The Chairman_. You remember the question of your recognizing his republic was a good deal discussed and you wrote me a letter, which I read in the senate. Of course, I am only asking now about what you said in the letter. There was no recognition of the republic?

“_Admiral Dewey_. Never. I did not think I had any authority to do it and it never occurred to me to do it. There was a sort of a reign of terror; there was no government. These people had got power for the first time in their lives and they were riding roughshod over the community. The acts of cruelty which were brought to my notice were hardly credible. I sent word to Aguinaldo that he must treat his prisoners kindly, and he said he would.”

He has further testified that he never as much as heard of independence until the appearance of Aguinaldo’s proclamation of June 15, 1898:–

“_Admiral Dewey_…. Then when I heard that our troops were coming I asked him to withdraw his troops from Cavite and make room for our men. He demurred at this, but finally withdrew and established headquarters across the bay at a place called Bacoor, from which place on the 15th of June he sent me a proclamation declaring the independence of the Philippines.

“_The Chairman_. Was that the first?

“_Admiral Dewey_. That was the first intimation; the first I had ever heard of independence of the Philippines.

“_The Chairman_. He had said something to you–

“_Admiral Dewey_. Not a word. He had done what I told him. He was most obedient; whatever I told him to do he did. I attached so little importance to this proclamation that I did not even cable its contents to Washington, but forwarded it through the mails. I never dreamed that they wanted independence.”

Remembering that Admiral Dewey was not being interrogated as to the statements of the “Resena Veridica,” it will be seen that he has, nevertheless, covered them fully.

It was my good fortune to be long and intimately associated with Admiral Dewey while serving on the first Philippine commission. He always grew indignant when the subject of any promises relative to independence said to have been made by him was so much as mentioned, and gave to the commission in writing the following:–

“The statement of Emilio Aguinaldo, under date of Sept. 23, published in the _Springfield Republican_, so far as it relates to reported conversations with me, or actions of mine, is a tissue of falsehood. I never, directly or indirectly, promised the Filipinos independence. I never received Aguinaldo with military honors, or recognized or saluted the so-called Filipino flag. I never considered him as an ally, although I did make use of him and the natives to assist me in my operations against the Spaniards.” [48]

As Dewey’s allegations flatly contradict those of Aguinaldo, we must choose between the two. While I have no doubt as to where the choice will fall, I will now submit some additional matter of interest. Let us first consider the history of the “Resena Veridica” in which Aguinaldo makes the charges above quoted. On September 12, 1899, Buencamino wrote of it to Apacible in Hongkong, saying:–

“This work is entitled ‘Resena Veridica de la Revolucion Filipina’ in which Don Emilio relates in detail his acts with Admiral Dewey. It has been distributed to the Consuls and you are ordered to reprint it there translated into English and send some copies to the United States, even though only a thousand, if you deem it advisable. Send copies also to Europe, Senor Agoncillo taking charge of the publication. If the Agent you may have selected for the United States should still be there, it would be advisable for him to take a copy of the pamphlet with him for its publication.

“This is an order of the Government which I take pleasure in transmitting to you for due execution.” [49]

But there was a change of heart about giving the pamphlet to the consuls, for under date of September 30 Buencamino wrote:–

“We have not distributed them here in order that Otis may not counteract the effects that we desire to produce with this publication, through his usual machinations. Nor do we believe it advisable to make this pamphlet public in those colonies before your arrival in the United States.” [50]

To this letter he added in cipher the following postscript to Pablo Ocampo, in charge of Aguinaldo’s correspondence in Manila:–

“At last moment–Nota bene:

“Don’t deliver any copy of the ‘Resena Veridica’ to the Consuls, even though it was so directed in the beginning of the letter. All except one, which is for you, will be sent to Hong-kong, Don Pedro de la Vina being bearer of the same, as also of the other documents. The copy intended for you is neither to be divulged nor published, for strict reserve is required until those which are being sent arrive at their destination.” [51]

The reason for preserving such secrecy relative to this document until it could reach its destination and work its harm is of course obvious. Its statements were so outrageously false that they would have been instantly and authoritatively contradicted had it been issued seasonably at Manila.

The truth is that Aguinaldo’s claim that he had been promised independence was a gradual growth. Let us trace it.

On May 21, he wrote a circular letter to “My dear brother,” inviting