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

Part 6 out of 10

of the "truts," whatever they may have been; but the people of the
United States were growing weary of their domination and were about
to return to the true principles of Washington and Jefferson. The
illustrious Americans "Crosvy Sticcney, and Vartridge" were all
laboring for the cause of Philippine independence. Long lists of
American cities were given in which the illustrious orators Mr. Croshy
and Mr. Schurts had addressed applauding crowds upon the necessity of
throttling the "truts" because they opposed recognition of the rights
of the Filipinos. In August, 1900, "News from our agents in America"
informed its readers that--

"'"W. J. Bryan has stated in a speech that his first act upon
being elected President will be to declare the independence of the

"'On June 16, 1900, Gen. Riego de Dios, acting head of the Hongkong
junta, wrote to Gen. I. Torres (P.I.R., 530), the guerrilla commander
in Bulacan Province, and assured him that a little more endurance,
a little more constancy, was all that was needed to secure the
attainment of their ends. According to their advices the Democratic
party would win in the approaching elections in the United States,
and--"it is certain that Bryan is the incarnation of our independence."

"'The number of men opposed to the policy of the administration was
said to be continually increasing.

"'The attitude of those who protect us cannot be more
manly and resolute: "Continue the struggle until you conquer
or die." Mr. Beecher of the League in Cincinnati writes us:
"I shall always be the champion of the cause of justice and of
truth," says Mr. Winslow of the Boston League. "Not even
threats of imprisonment will make me cease in my undertaking,"
Doctor Denziger assures us. "I shall accept every risk
and responsibility," says Doctor Leverson. "If it is necessary,
I shall go so far as to provoke a revolution in my own country,"
repeats Mr. Udell. "It is necessary to save the Republic and
democracy from the abyss of imperialism and save the worthy
Filipinos from oppression and extermination" is cried by all,
and the sound of this cry is ever rising louder and louder.'" [434]

Extract from a letter of Papa Isio [435] dated March 4, 1901:--

"I have received from Luzon an order to proceed more rapidly with my
operations this month, as Bryan ordered Emilio to keep the war going
vigorously until April, and he also said that if independence was
not given the Philippines by that time, he, Bryan, and his followers
would rise in arms against the oppressors." [436]

"_Tarlac_, Oct. 26, 1899.

"To the Military Governor of This City, and To the Secretary of
the Interior.

"As a meeting shall be held on the morning of Sunday next in the
Presidential Palace of this Republic in return for that held in the
United States by Mr. Bryan, who drank to the name of our Honourable
President as one of the heroes of the world, and for the purpose
of celebrating it with more pomp and contributing to it the greater
splendor with your personnel, I will be obliged to you if you will
please call at this office to confer with me on the matter.

"God preserve you, etc.

(Signed) "_F. Buencamino_." [437]

In a letter written by A. Flores, acting secretary of war, to the
military governor of Tarlac on October 27, 1899, there occurs the

"In the United States meetings and banquets have been held in honor
of our Honourable President, Don Emilio Aguinaldo, who was pronounced
one of the heroes of the world by Mr. Bryan, future president of
the United States. The Masonic Society, therefore, interpreting
the unanimous desires of the people, and with the approval of the
government, will on Sunday the 29th instant, organize a meeting
or popular assembly in the interest of national independence and
in honor of Mr. Bryan of the anti-imperialist party, the defenders
of our cause in the United States. The meeting will consist of two
functions; first--at nine A.M. of the 29th the assembly will convene
in a suitable place, a national hymn will inaugurate the exercises,
after which appropriate addresses will be delivered; and second--at
four P.M. a popular demonstration will take place throughout the town,
with bands of music parading the streets; residents will decorate
and illuminate their houses.

"Which I have the pleasure of transmitting to you for your information
and guidance and for that of the troops under your command." [438]


The First Philippine Commission

I have elsewhere mentioned the appointment of the First Philippine

On January 18, 1899, its civilian members met at Washington and
received the President's instructions.

We were to aid in "the most humane, pacific and effective extension
of authority throughout these islands, and to secure, with the least
possible delay, the benefits of a wise and generous protection of
life and property to the inhabitants."

We were directed to meet at the earliest possible day in the city
of Manila and to announce by a public proclamation our presence
and the mission intrusted to us, carefully setting forth that while
the established military government would be continued as long as
necessity might require, efforts would be made to alleviate the burden
of taxation, to establish industrial and commercial prosperity and
to provide for the safety of persons and property by such means as
might be found conducive to those ends.

We were to endeavour, without interfering with the military
authorities, to ascertain what amelioration in the condition of the
inhabitants and what improvements in public order were practicable,
and for this purpose were to study attentively the existing social and
political state of the several populations, particularly as regarded
the forms of local government, the administration of justice, the
collection of customs and other taxes, the means of transportation and
the need of public improvements, reporting through the Department of
State the results of our observations and reflections, and recommending
such executive action as might, from time to time, seem to us wise
and useful.

We were authorized to recommend suitable persons for appointment
to offices, made necessary by personal changes in the existing
civil administration, from among the inhabitants who had previously
acknowledged their allegiance to the American government.

We were to "ever use due respect for all the ideals, customs and
institutions of the tribes which compose the population, emphasizing
upon all occasions the just and beneficent intentions of the United
States," and were commissioned on account of our "knowledge, skill, and
integrity as bearers of the good-will, the protection and the richest
blessings of a liberating rather than a conquering nation." [439]

Nothing could be more false than Blount's insinuation that we were
sent out to help Otis run the war. [440] There was no war when
we started, and we were expressly enjoined from interfering with
the military government or its officers. We were sent to deliver a
message of good-will, to investigate, and to recommend, and there
our powers ended.

Mr. Schurman and I, with a small clerical force, sailed from Vancouver,
January 31, 1899. On our arrival at Yokohama we learned with keen
regret of the outbreak of hostilities at Manila.

Blount has incorrectly stated that President McKinley had sent the
commission out when the dogs of war were already let loose. [441] The
dogs of war had not been loosed when we started, and one of the main
purposes in sending us was to keep them in their kennels if possible.

Aguinaldo has made the following statements in his "Resena Veridica":--

"... We, the Filipinos, would have received said commission, as
honourable agents of the great America, with demonstrations of true
kindness and entire adhesion. The commissioners would have toured
over all our provinces, seeing and observing at close range order and
tranquillity, in the whole of our territory. They would have seen the
fields tilled and planted. They would have examined our Constitution
and public administration, in perfect peace, and they would have
experienced and enjoyed that ineffable charm of our Oriental manner,
a mixture of abandon and solicitude, of warmth and of frigidity,
of confidence and of suspiciousness, which makes our relations with
foreigners change into a thousand colours, agreeable to the utmost.

"Ah! but this landscape suited neither General Otis nor the
Imperialists! For their criminal intention it was better that
the American commissioners should find war and desolation in the
Philippines, perceiving from the day of their arrival the fetid stench
emitted by the mingled corpses of Americans and Filipinos. For their
purposes it was better that that gentleman, Mr. Schurman, President
of the Commission, could not leave Manila, limiting himself to listen
to the few Filipinos, who, having yielded to the reasonings of gold,
were partisans of the Imperialists. It was better that the commission
should contemplate the Philippine problem through conflagrations,
to the whiz of bullets, on the transverse light of all the unchained
passions, in order that it might not form any exact or complete opinion
of the natural and proper limits of said problem. Ah! it was better,
in short, that the commission should leave defeated in not having
secured peace, and would blame me and the other Filipinos, when I and
the whole Filipino people anxiously desired that peace should have
been secured before rather than now, but an honourable and worthy
peace for the United States and for the Philippine Republic." [442]

These statements, made to deceive the public, make interesting reading
in the light of our present knowledge as to the purposes and plans
of Aguinaldo and his associates.

On our arrival at Yokohama we were promptly informed by a secretary
from the United States Legation that no less a personage than Marquis
Ito had been in frequent communication with the Filipinos since 1894,
that they had been looking to him for advice and support, and that
he had interested himself in the present situation sufficiently to
come to the American minister and offer to go to the Philippines,
not in any sense as an agent of the United States, but as a private
individual, and to use his influence in our behalf. His contention
was that the then existing conditions resulted from misunderstandings.

He said that Americans did not understand Asiatics, but he was an
Asiatic himself and did understand the Filipinos, and thought that he
eould settle the whole affair. The minister had cabled to Washington
for instructions. Naturally the offer was not accepted.

I was reminded, by this extraordinary incident, of a previous
occurrence. I spent the month of March, 1893, in Tokio when returning
from my second visit to the Philippines, and was kindly invited to
inspect the zooelogical work at the Imperial University. When I visited
the institution for that purpose, I was questioned very closely on
the islands, their people and their resources. The gentlemen who
interrogated me may have been connected with the university, but I
doubt it.

We reached Hongkong on February 22. Here I had an interview with
Dr. Apacible of the junta, while Mr. Schurman visited Canton. Apacible
told me that the Filipinos wanted an independent republic under an
American protectorate. Pressed for the details of their desires, he
said that "the function of a protector is to protect." Further than
that he could not go. I tried to convince him of the hopelessness
of the course the Filipinos were then pursuing and of the kindly
intentions of my government, but felt that I made no impression on him.

We arrived at Manila on March 4, 1899, too late to land. Firebugs were
abroad. We watched a number of houses burn, and heard the occasional
crackle of rifle fire along the line of the defences around the
city. The next morning there was artillery fire for a time at San
Pedro Macati. Everywhere were abundant evidences that the war was on.

This left little for us to do at the moment except to inform ourselves
as to conditions, especially as Colonel Denby had not yet arrived,
and General Otis was overwhelmed with work and anxiety.

I renewed my acquaintance with many old Filipino and Spanish friends
and improved the opportunity, not likely to recur in my experience,
to see as much as possible of the fighting in the field.

One day when I was at San Pedro Macati, Captain Dyer, who commanded
a battery of 3.2-inch guns there, suggested that if I wished to
investigate the effect of shrapnel fire I could do so by visiting
a place on a neighbouring hillside which he indicated. Acting upon
his suggestion, I set out, accompanied by my private secretary, who,
like myself, was clad in white duck. The Insurgent sharpshooters on
the other side of the river devoted some attention to us, but we knew
that so long as they aimed at us we were quite safe. Few of their
bullets came within hearing distance.

We were hunting about on the hillside for the place indicated by
Captain Dyer, when suddenly we heard ourselves cursed loudly and
fluently in extremely plain American, and there emerged from a
neighbouring thicket a very angry infantry officer. On venturing to
inquire the cause of his most uncomplimentary remarks, I found that he
was in command of skirmishers who were going through the brush to see
whether there was anything left there which needed shooting up. As
many of the Insurgent soldiers dressed in white, and as American
civilians were not commonly to be met in Insurgent territory, these
men had been just about to fire on us when they discovered their
mistake. We went back to Manila and bought some khaki clothes.

At first my interest in military matters was not appreciated by my army
friends, who could not see what business I had to be wandering around
without a gun in places where guns were in use. I had, however, long
since discovered that reliable first-hand information on any subject
is likely to be useful sooner or later, and so it proved in this case.

For several weeks after we reached Manila there was no active military
movement; then came the inauguration of the short, sharp campaign
which ended for the moment with the taking of Malolos. For long,
tedious weeks our soldiers had sweltered in muddy trenches, shot at
by an always invisible foe whom they were not allowed to attack. It
was anticipated that when the forward movement began, it would be
active. Close secrecy was maintained with regard to it. Captain
Hedworth Lambton, of the British cruiser _Powerful_, then lying
in Manila Bay, exacted a promise from me that I would tell him if
I found out when the advance was to begin, so that we might go to
Caloocan together and watch the fighting from the church tower,
which commanded a magnificent view of the field of operations.

I finally heard a fairly definite statement that our troops would
move the following morning. I rushed to General Otis's office and
after some parleying had it confirmed by him. It was then too late to
advise Lambton, and in fact I could not properly have done so, as the
information had been given me under pledge of secrecy. Accompanied
by my private secretary, Dr. P. L. Sherman, I hastened to Caloocan,
where we arrived just at dusk, having had to run the gantlet of
numerous inquisitive sentries _en route_.

We spent the night in the church, where General Wheaton and his staff
had their headquarters, and long before daylight were perched in
a convenient opening in its galvanized iron roof, made on a former
occasion by a shell from Dewey's fleet.

From this vantage point we could see the entire length of the line
of battle. The attack began shortly after daylight. Near Caloocan
the Insurgent works were close in, but further off toward La Loma
they were in some places distant a mile or more from the trenches of
the Americans.

The general plan of attack was that the whole American line should
rotate to the north and west on Caloocan as a pivot, driving the
Insurgents in toward Malabon if possible. The latter began to fire
as soon as the American troops showed themselves, regardless of the
fact that their enemies were quite out of range. As most of them were
using black-powder cartridges, their four or five miles of trenches
were instantly outlined. The ground was very dry so that the bullets
threw up puffs of dust where they struck, and it was possible to
judge the accuracy of the fire of each of the opposing forces.

Rather heavy resistance was encountered on the extreme right, and
the turning movement did not materialize as rapidly as had been
hoped. General Wheaton, who was in command of the forces about
the church, finally moved to the front, and as we were directly in
the rear of his line and the Insurgents, as usual, overshot badly,
we found ourselves in an uncomfortably hot corner. Bullets rattled
on the church roof like hail, and presently one passed through the
opening through which Major Bourns, Colonel Potter, of the engineer
corps, and I were sticking our heads. Immediately thereafter we
were observed by Dr. Sherman making record time on all fours along
one of the framing timbers of the church toward its tower. There we
took up our station, and thereafter observed the fighting by peeping
through windows partially closed with blocks of volcanic tuff. We
had a beautiful opportunity to see the artillery fire. The guns were
directly in front of and below us and we could watch the laying of
the several pieces and then turn our field-glasses on the particular
portions of the Insurgent trenches where the projectiles were likely to
strike. Again and again we caught bursting shells in the fields of our
glasses and could thus see their effect as accurately as if we had been
standing close by, without any danger of being perforated by shrapnel.

After the Insurgent position had been carried we walked forward
to their line of trenches and followed it east to a point beyond
the La Loma Church, counting the dead and wounded, as I had heard
wild stories of tremendous slaughter and wanted to see just how
much damage the fire of our troops had really done. On our way we
passed the Caloocan railroad station which had been converted into
a temporary field hospital. Here I saw good Father McKinnon, the
champlain of the First California Volunteers, assisting a surgeon
and soaked with the blood of wounded men. He was one chaplain in a
thousand. It was always easy to find him. One had only to look where
trouble threatened and help was needed. He was sure to be there.

On my way from the railway station to the trenches I met a very much
excited officer returning from the front. He had evidently had a long
and recent interview with Cyrus Noble, [443] and was determined to
tell me all about the fighting. I escaped from him after some delay,
and with much difficulty. Later he remembered having met me, but
made a grievous mistake as to the scene of our encounter, insisting
that we had been together in "Wheaton's Hole," an uncommonly hot
position where numerous people got hurt. He persisted in giving a
graphic account of our experiences, and in paying high tribute to
my coolness and courage under heavy fire. My efforts to persuade him
that I had not been with him there proved futile, and I finally gave
up the attempt. I wonder how many other military reputations rest
upon so slender a foundation! This experience was unique. I never
saw another officer under the influence of liquor when in the field.

At the time that we visited the Insurgent trenches, not all of our
own killed and wounded had been removed, yet every wounded Insurgent
whom we found had a United States army canteen of water at his side,
obviously left by some kindly American soldier. Not a few of the
injured had been furnished hardtack as well. All were ultimately
taken to Manila and there given the best of care by army surgeons.

Sometime later a most extraordinary account of this fight, written by a
soldier, was published in the _Springfield Republican_. It was charged
that our men had murdered prisoners in cold blood, and had committed
all manner of barbarities, the writer saying among other things:--

"We first bombarded a town called Malabon and then entered it and
killed every man, woman and child in the place."

The facts were briefly as follows: There was an Insurgent regiment in
and near a mangrove swamp to the right of this town. When it became
obstreperous it was shelled for a short time until it quieted down
again. None of the shells entered the town. Indeed, most of them
struck in the water. Our troops did not enter Malabon that day,
but passed to the northward, leaving behind a small guard to keep
the Insurgents from coming out of Malabon in their rear. Had they
then entered the town, they would not have found any women, children
or non-combatant men to kill for the reason that all such persons
had been sent away some time before. The town was burned, in part,
but by the Insurgents themselves. They fired the church and a great
orphan asylum, and did much other wanton damage.

Being able to speak from personal observation as to the occurrences of
that day, I sent a long cablegram direct to the _Chicago Times-Herald_
stating the facts. After my return to the United States, President
McKinley was kind enough to say to me that if there had been no
other result from the visit of the first Philippine Commission to the
islands than the sending of that cablegram, he should have considered
the expense involved more than justified. He added that the country
was being flooded at the time with false and slanderous rumours,
and people at home did not know what to believe. The statements of
army officers were discounted in advance, and other testimony from
some unprejudiced source was badly needed.

On April 2, 1899, Colonel Denby arrived, and our serious work
began. The fighting continued and there was little that we could
do save earnestly to strive to promote friendly relations with the
conservative element among the Filipinos, and to gather the information
we had been instructed to obtain.

On April 4, 1899, we issued a proclamation setting forth in clear and
simple language the purposes of the American government. [444] It was
translated into Tagalog and other dialects and widely circulated. The
Insurgent leaders were alert to keep the common people and the soldiers
from learning of the kindly purposes of the United States. They were
forbidden to read the document and we were reliably informed that
the imposition of the death penalty was threatened if this order was
violated. In Manila crowds of Filipinos gathered about copies of the
proclamation which were posted in public places. Many of them were
soon effaced by Insurgent agents or sympathizers.

This document unquestionably served a very useful purpose. [445]
For one thing, it promptly brought us into much closer touch with
the more conservative Filipinos.

We soon established relations of friendliness and confidence with men
like Arellano, Torres, Legarda and Tavera, who had left the Malolos
government when it demonstrated its futility, and were ready to turn
to the United States for help. Insurgent sympathizers also conferred
freely with us. We were invited to a beautiful function given in our
honour at the home of a wealthy family, and were impressed, as no one
can fail to be, with the dignified bearing of our Filipino hosts,
a thing which is always in evidence on such occasions. We gave a
return function which was largely attended and greatly aided in the
establishment of relations of confidence and friendship with leading
Filipino residents of Manila.

The Filipinos were much impressed with Colonel Denby. He was a handsome
man, of imposing presence, with one of the kindest hearts that ever
beat. They felt instinctively that they could have confidence in him,
and showed it on all occasions.

Meanwhile we lost no opportunity to inform ourselves as to
conditions and events, conferring with Filipinos from various parts
of the archipelago and with Chinese, Germans, Frenchmen, Belgians,
Austrians, Englishmen, Spaniards and Americans. Among the witnesses
who came before us were farmers, bankers, brokers, merchants,
lawyers, physicians, railroad men, shipowners, educators and public
officials. Certainly all classes of opinion were represented, and
when we were called upon by the President, a little later, for a
statement of the situation we felt fully prepared to make it.

Blount has charged that the commission attempted to interfere with the
conduct of the war, and cites a cablegram from General Otis stating
that conferences with Insurgents cost soldiers' lives in support of
this contention. No conference with Insurgent leaders was ever held
without the previous knowledge and approval of the general, who was
himself a member of the commission.

Late in April General Luna sent Colonel Arguelles of his staff to ask
for a fifteen days' suspension of hostilities under the pretext of
enabling the Insurgent congress to meet at San Fernando, Pampanga,
on May 1, to discuss the situation and decide what it wanted to
do. He called on the commission and urged us to ask Otis to grant
this request, but we declined to intervene, and General Otis refused
to grant it.

Mabini continued Luna's effort, sending Arguelles back with letters to
Otis and to the commission. In the latter he asked for "an armistice
and a suspension of hostilities as an indispensable means of arriving
at peace," stating explicitly that the Philippine government "does not
solicit the armistice to gain a space of time in which to reenforce

The commission again referred Arguelles to General Otis on the matter
of armistice and suspension of hostilities. We suspected that the
statement that these things were not asked for in order to gain time
was false, and this has since been definitely established.

Taylor says:--

"On April 11 Mabini wrote to General Luna (Exhibit 719) that
Aguinaldo's council was of the opinion that no negotiations for the
release of the Spanish prisoners should be considered unless the
American Commission agreed to a suspension of hostilities for the
purpose of treating, not only in regard to the prisoners, but for
the purpose of opening negotiations between Aguinaldo's government
and the American authorities.

"'In arriving at this decision we have been actuated by the desire
to gain time for our arsenals to produce sufficient cartridges, if,
as would seem to be probable, they persist in not even recognizing
our belligerency, as means for furthering the recognition of our
independence.'" [446]

Arguelles, on his return, was instructed to ask Otis for a--

"general armistice and suspension of hostilities in all the archipelago
for the short space of three months, in order to enable it to consult
the opinion of the people concerning the government which would be the
most advantageous, and the intervention in it which should be given
to the North American Government, and to appoint an extraordinary
commission with full powers, to act in the name of the Philippine
people." [447]

General Otis naturally again declined to grant the request for a
suspension of hostilities.

Little came of the conference between Arguelles and the commission,
except that we really succeeded in convincing him of the good
intentions of our government, and this promptly got him into very
serious trouble, as we shall soon see. I took him to a tent hospital
on the First Reserve Hospital grounds where wounded Insurgents were
receiving the best of treatment at the hands of American surgeons,
and he was amazed. He had been taught to believe that the Americans
murdered prisoners, raped women, and committed similar barbarities
whenever they got a chance. As we have seen, stories of this sort
were industriously spread by many of the Insurgent leaders among
their soldiers, and among the common people as well. They served
to arouse the passions of the former, and stirred them up to acts
of devilish brutality which they might perhaps not otherwise have
perpetrated. Arguelles told the truth upon his return, and this,
together with his suggestion that it might be well to consider the
acceptance of the form of government offered by the United States,
nearly cost him his life. Relative to this matter Taylor says:--

"When Arguelles returned to the insurgent lines, it must have been
considered that he had said too much in Manila. While he had been
sent there to persuade the Americans to agree to a suspension of
hostilities to be consumed in endless discussion under cover of which
Luna's army could be reorganized, he had not only failed to secure
the desired armistice, but had come back with the opinion that it
might after all be advisable to accept the government proposed by the
United States. On May 22 General Luna ordered his arrest and trial for
being in favour of the autonomy of the United States in the Philippine
Islands. He was tried promptly, the prosecuting witness being another
officer of Luna's staff who had accompanied him to Manila and acted
as a spy upon his movements (P.I.R., 285. 2). The court sentenced him
to dismissal and confinement at hard labor for twelve years. This
did not satisfy Luna's thirst for vengeance, and he was imprisoned
in Bautista on the first floor of a building whose second story was
occupied by that officer. One night Luna came alone into the room
where he was confined and told him that although he was a traitor,
yet he had done good service to the cause; and it was not proper that
a man who had been a colonel in the army should be seen working on
the roads under a guard. He told him that the proper thing for him to
do was to blow his brains out, and that if he did not do it within a
reasonable time the sentinel at his door would shoot him. He gave him
a pistol and left the room. Arguelles decided not to kill himself, but
fully expected that the guard would kill him. Shortly afterwards Luna
was summoned to meet Aguinaldo, and never returned. On September 29,
1899, his sentence was declared null and void and he was reinstated
in his former rank (P.I.R., 285. 3, and 2030. 2)." [448]

Colonel Arguelles has told me exactly the same story. For a time it
seemed as if the views expressed by him might prevail.

"According to Felipe Buencamino and some others, the majority of the
members of congress had been in favour of absolute independence until
they saw the demoralization of the officers and soldiers which resulted
in the American occupation of Malolos. In the middle of April, 1899,
they remembered Arellano's advice, and all of the intelligent men
in Aguinaldo's government, except Antonio Luna and the officers who
had no desire to lay down their military rank, decided to accept the
sovereignty of the United States. At about the same time copies of
the proclamation issued by the American Commission in Manila reached
them and still further influenced them toward the adoption of this
purpose. By the time congress met in San Isidro on May 1, 1899, all
of the members had accepted it except a few partisans of Mabini,
then president of the council of government. At its first meeting
the congress resolved to change the policy of war with the United
States to one of peace, and this change of policy in congress led to
the fall of Mabini and his succession by Paterno. The first act of
the new council was the appointment of a commission headed by Felipe
Buencamino which was to go to Manila and there negotiate with the
American authorities for an honourable surrender." [449]

"Although Mabini had fallen from power, Luna and his powerful faction
had still to be reckoned with. He was less moderate than Mabini, and
had armed adherents, which Mabini did not, and when Paterno declared
his policy of moderation and diplomacy he answered it on the day
the new council of government was proclaimed by an order that all
foreigners living in the Philippines except Chinese and Spaniards,
should leave for Manila within forty-eight hours." [450]

Unfortunately Luna intercepted the Buencamino commission. Its head
he kicked, cuffed and threatened with a revolver. One of its members
was General Gregorio del Pilar. He was allowed to proceed, as he
commanded a brigade of troops which might have deserted had he been
badly treated, but Luna named three other men to go with him in place
of those who had been originally appointed. [451] They were Gracio
Gonzaga, Captain Zialcita, and Alberto Baretto. They reached Manila
on May 19,
1899, and during their stay there had two long interviews
with the commission.

They said that they had come, with larger powers than had been
conferred on Arguelles, to discuss the possibility of peace, the
form of ultimate government which might be proposed in future, and
the attitude of the United States government toward needed reforms.

Meanwhile, on May 4, we had laid before the President a plan of
government informally discussed with Arguelles, and had received the
following reply, authorizing, in substance, what we had suggested:--

"Washington, May 5, 1899, 10.20 P.M.

"Schurman, Manila:

"Yours 4th received. You are authorized to propose that
under the military power of the President, pending action of
Congress, government of the Philippine Islands shall consist of a
governor-general, appointed by the President; cabinet, appointed by the
governor-general; a general advisory council elected by the people; the
qualifications of electors to be carefully considered and determined;
the governor-general to have absolute veto. Judiciary strong and
independent; principal judges appointed by the President. The cabinet
and judges to be chosen from natives or Americans, or both, having
regard to fitness. The President earnestly desires the cessation
of bloodshed, and that the people of the Philippine Islands at an
early date shall have the largest measure of local self-government
consistent with peace and good order.

"_Hay_." [452]

Our proclamation of April 4, 1899, was also taken up at their request
and was gone over minutely, sentence by sentence. We were asked to
explain certain expressions which they did not fully understand.

They told us that it would be hard for their army to lay down its
arms when it had accomplished nothing, and asked if it could be taken
into the service of the United States. We answered that some of the
regiments might be taken over and employment on public works be found
for the soldiers of others.

We endeavoured to arrange for an interview with Aguinaldo, either
going to meet him or assuring him safe conduct should he desire to
confer with us at Manila.

They left, promising to return in three weeks when they had had time
to consider the matters under discussion, but they never came back.

Shortly thereafter there was an odd occurrence. Soon after our
arrival we had learned that Mr. Schurman was a man of very variable
opinions. He was rather readily convinced by plausible arguments,
but sometimes very suddenly reversed his views on an important subject.

At the outset Archbishop Nozaleda made a great impression upon
him. The Archbishop was a thoroughgoing Spaniard of the old school,
and entertained somewhat radical opinions as to what should be done
to end the distressing situation which existed. After talking with
him Mr. Schurman seemed to be convinced that we ought to adopt a
stern and bloody policy, a conclusion to which Colonel Denby and I
decidedly objected.

A little later he made a trip up the Pasig River with Admiral Dewey
and others and had a chance to see something of the aftermath of
war. It was not at all pretty. It never is. I was waiting for him
with a carriage at the river landing on his return and had hard work
to keep him away from the cable office. His feelings had undergone a
complete revulsion. He insisted that if the American people knew what
we were doing they would demand that the war be terminated immediately
at any cost and by whatsoever means, and he wanted to tell them all
about it at once. By the next morning, however, things fortunately
looked rather differently to him.

Mr. Schurman acquired a working knowledge of the Spanish language
with extraordinary promptness. Shortly thereafter Colonel Denby and
I discovered that when Filipinos came to see the commission in order
to impart information or to seek it, he was conferring with them
privately and sending them away without our seeing them at all.

Soon after we had made our formal statement of the situation to the
President, Mr. Schurman had an interview with an Englishman who had
been living in Insurgent territory north of Manila, from which he had
just been ejected, in accordance with Luna's order. This man told
him all about the mistakes of the Americans and evidently greatly
impressed him, for shortly thereafter he read to us at a commission
meeting a draft of a proposed cablegram which he said he hoped we would
approve. It would have stultified us, had we signed it, as it involved
in effect the abandonment of the position we had so recently taken
and a radical change in the policy we had recommended. Mr. Schurman
told us that if we did not care to sign it, he would send it as an
expression of his personal opinion. Colonel Denby asked him if his
personal opinion differed from his official opinion, and received an
affirmative reply. We declined to approve the proposed cablegram,
whereupon he informed us that if his policy were adopted, he and
General Aguinaldo would settle things without assistance from us,
and that otherwise he would resign. He inquired whether we, too,
would send a cable, and we told him certainly not, unless further
information from us was requested. He sent his proposed message,
in somewhat modified form, and received a prompt reply instructing
him to submit it to the full commission and cable their views.

He did submit it to Colonel Denby and myself at a regularly called
commission meeting, argued that in doing this he had obeyed the
President's instructions, and vowed that he would not show it to
General Otis. I showed it to the General myself, allowing him to
believe that I did so with Mr. Schurman's approval, and thus avoided
serious trouble, as he had been personally advised from Washington
of the instructions to Mr. Schurman. The General then joined with
Colonel Denby and myself in a cablegram setting forth our views,
and so this incident ended.

Mr. Schurman did not resign, but thereafter we saw very little of
him. He made a hasty trip to the Visayas and the Southern Islands
and sailed for the United States shortly after his return to Manila,
being anxious to get back in time for the opening of the college year
at Cornell.

Colonel Denby and I were instructed to remain at Manila, where we
rendered such assistance as we could give, and continued to gather
information relative to the situation, the country and the people. In
this latter work we were given invaluable help by Jesuit priests,
who prepared for us a comprehensive monograph embodying a very large
amount of valuable information, and furnished us a series of new maps
as well. The latter were subsequently published by the United States
Coast and Geodetic Survey in the form of an Atlas of the Philippines.

Early in September we had a most interesting interview with Sr. Jose de
Luzuriaga, a distinguished and patriotic Filipino from western Negros,
where American sovereignty had been accepted without resistance. Up
to that time it had been possible for the people of Negros to keep
out Tagalog invaders. Sr. Luzuriaga assured us that so long as this
condition continued, there would be no trouble, and he was quite right.

Aguinaldo's agents eventually gained a foothold there for a short time,
and did some mischief, but it did not result very seriously.

We felt an especial interest in this island, as General Otis had
asked us carefully to study and to criticise a scheme for its
government which had been drafted by General James F. Smith, who
afterward became justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines,
secretary of public instruction and governor-general of the islands,
and was then in command of the troops in Negros.

General Lawton arrived in the Philippines during our stay. His
coming had been eagerly looked forward to by the army. He had sailed
with the understanding that he was to be put in charge of field
operations. While he was at sea, influences were brought to bear
which changed this plan.

It is my firm conviction that if Lawton had been put in command, the
war would have ended promptly. He was a wonderful man in the field. He
possessed the faculty of instilling his own tremendous energy into
his officers and men, whose privations and dangers he shared, thereby
arousing an unfaltering loyalty which stood him in good stead in time
of need. If there was fighting to be done, he promptly and thoroughly
whipped everything in sight. He punished looting and disorder with
a heavy hand, treated prisoners and noncombatants with the utmost
kindness, and won the good-will of all Filipinos with whom he came
in contact.

General MacArthur was always declaring that the Filipinos were a unit
against us and that he could never get information from them. General
Lawton never lacked for such information as he needed, and constantly
and successfully used the Filipinos themselves as messengers and for
other purposes. I came to know him intimately, and learned to admire
and love him as did all those who had that great privilege.

For some time I had charge of his spies. Never have men taken longer
chances than did the faithful few who at this time furnished us with
information as to events in Insurgent territory. Discovery meant prompt
and cruel death. For a long time Major F. S. Bourns had performed the
uncongenial task of directing the spies. He was then the chief health
officer of Manila, and as all sorts of people were compelled to consult
him on sanitary matters, visits to his office aroused no suspicion. He
spoke Spanish, and this was imperatively necessary. Our spies simply
would not communicate results through interpreters. The facts revealed
by the Insurgent records show how right they were in refusing to do so.

Major Bourns eventually returned to the United States. His work was
taken over by an army officer, with the result that two of our best
men died very suddenly in that gentleman's back yard. As I spoke
Spanish, and as all sorts of people came to see the commission,
I was the logical candidate for this job, which I thereupon inherited.

Each morning, if there was news, I myself laboriously thumped out
my notes on the typewriter, making an original and one copy. The
copy I took at once to General Lawton. The original I took, later,
to General Otis.

General Lawton was firmly convinced that most army officers were
unfitted by their training to perform civil functions. He organized
municipal governments with all possible promptness in the towns
occupied by his troops, and in this work he requested my assistance,
which I was of course glad to give. Sr. Felipe Calderon drafted a
simple provisional scheme of municipal government which I submitted
for criticism to that most distinguished and able of Filipinos,
Sr. Cayetano Arellano. [453] When the final changes in it had been
made, I accompanied General Lawton on a trip to try putting it into
effect. We held elections and established municipal governments in a
number of the towns just south of Manila, and in some of those along
the Pasig River.

General Otis watched our operations and their results narrowly, and
was sufficiently well pleased with the latter to order General Kobbe
to follow a similar course in various towns on or near the railroad
north of Manila. Kobbe did not profess to know much about municipal
government, and asked me to go with him and help until he got the
hang of the thing, which I did.

Thus it happened that the first Philippine Commission had a sort of
left-handed interest in the first municipal governments established
in the islands under American rule.

In his endeavour to show that the Commission interfered with military
operations, Blount has ascribed certain statements to Major Starr. He
says: " ... at San Isidro on or about November 8, Major Starr said:
'We took this town last spring,' stating how much our loss had been in
so doing, 'but partly as a result of the Schurman commission parleying
with the Insurgents, General Otis had us fall back. We have just had
to take it again.'" [454]

If Major Starr ever made such a statement he was sadly
misinformed. General Lawton was the best friend I ever had in the
United States Army. I saw him almost daily when he was in Manila,
and he showed me the whole telegraphic correspondence which passed
between him and General Otis on the subject of the withdrawal from
San Isidro and Nueva Ecija, which was certainly one of the most
ill advised moves that any military commander was ever compelled to
make. General Lawton's unremitting attacks had absolutely demoralized
the Insurgent force, and my information is that when he finally
turned back, Aguinaldo and several members of his cabinet were
waiting, ten miles away, to surrender to him when he next advanced,
believing that they could never escape from him. I have not the
telegraphic correspondence before me, but I remember its salient
features. Otis ordered Lawton to withdraw, and Lawton, convinced of
the inadvisability of the measure, objected. Otis replied that, with
the rainy season coming on, he could neither provision him nor furnish
him ammunition. Lawton answered that he had provisions enough to last
three weeks and ammunition enough to finish the war, whereupon Otis
peremptorily ordered him to withdraw. The Philippine Commission had
no more to do with this matter than they had to do with the similar
order against advancing which Otis sent Lawton on the day the latter
won the Zapote River fight, when the Insurgents were running all over
the Province of Cavite. Lawton wanted to push forward and clean the
whole place up. The reply to his request to be allowed to do so ran,
if memory serves me well, as follows:--

"Do nothing. You have accomplished all that was expected of you."

Later on, Lawton and his devoted officers and men had to duplicate the
fierce campaign which had resulted in the taking of San Isidro. This
made possible the movement that Lawton had had in mind in the
first instance, which was made with the result that organized armed
resistance to the authority of the United States promptly ceased in
northern Luzon.

While on this subject I wish to record the fact that shortly after
his return from the San Isidro campaign General Lawton asked me to
accompany him on a visit to General Otis and act as a witness. I
did so. In my presence Lawton said to Otis that if the latter would
give him two regiments, would allow him to arm, equip and provision
them to suit himself, and would turn him loose, he would stake his
reputation as a soldier, and his position in the United States Army,
on the claim that within sixty days he would end the insurrection
and would deliver to General Otis one Emilio Aguinaldo, dead or
alive. The general laughed at his offer. General Lawton asked me
some day to make these facts public. As life is an uncertain thing,
I deem it proper to do so now. Personally I am convinced that if his
offer had been accepted he would have kept his promise.

On September 15, 1899, Colonel Denby and I sailed for the United
States, having been recalled to Washington. Shortly after our arrival
there the commission issued a brief preliminary report. The winter
was spent in the preparation of our final report, which constituted
a full and authoritative treatise on the islands, the people and
their resources. Father Jose Algue, the distinguished head of the
Philippine Weather Bureau, was called to Washington to help us,
and gave us invaluable assistance.

Our preliminary report, dated November 2, 1899, and the first volume
of our final report, published on January 31, 1900, contained our
observations and recommendations relative to political matters.

Mr. Schurman has been credited with saying in an address made on
January 11, 1902: "Any decent kind of government of Filipinos by
Filipinos is better than the best possible government of Filipinos
by Americans." [455]

On November 2, 1900, he signed the following statement: [456]--

"Should our power by any fatality be withdrawn, the commission
believe that the government of the Philippines would speedily lapse
into anarchy, which would excuse, if it did not necessitate, the
intervention of other powers and the eventual division of the islands
among them. Only through American occupation, therefore, is the idea
of a free, self-governing, and united Philippine commonwealth at
all conceivable. And the indispensable need from the Filipino point
of view of maintaining American sovereignty over the archipelago is
recognized by all intelligent Filipinos and even by those insurgents
who desire an American protectorate. The latter, it is true, would
take the revenues and leave us the responsibilities. Nevertheless,
they recognize the indubitable fact that the Filipinos cannot stand
alone. Thus the welfare of the Filipinos coincides with the dictates
of national honour in forbidding our abandonment of the archipelago. We
cannot from any point of view escape the responsibilities of government
which our sovereignty entails; and the commission is strongly persuaded
that the performance of our national duty will prove the greatest
blessing to the peoples of the Philippine Islands."

More than fourteen years' experience in governmental work in the
Philippines has profoundly impressed me with the fundamental soundness
of these conclusions of the first Philippine Commission. Every
statement then made still holds true.


The Establishment of Civil Government

The first Philippine Commission did not complete its work until March,
1900. By this time conditions had so far improved in the archipelago
that President McKinley was prepared to initiate a movement looking
toward the establishment of civil government there. With this end in
view he appointed the following commission of five civilians; William
H. Taft of Ohio, Dean C. Worcester of Michigan, Luke E. Wright of
Tennessee, Henry C. Ide of Vermont and Bernard Moses of California. Our
appointments were dated March 16, 1900. Our instructions which were
full, are given in the appendix. [457] I was the only member of the
first commission to be reappointed. Neither General Otis nor Admiral
Dewey cared to serve, and indeed the professional duties of each
of them rendered his appointment to the new commission difficult,
if not impossible. Mr. Schurman had at one time expressed himself
as vigorously opposed to the idea of a new commission, maintaining
that the best results could be obtained by the appointment of a civil
governor with wide powers. It was therefore taken for granted that he
would not desire reappointment. Colonel Denby was keenly interested
in the work and would have been glad to continue it, but he was past
seventy and with his good wife had then spent some fifteen years
in the Far East. He doubted whether his strength would be adequate
to bear the strain of the arduous task which obviously lay before
the new commission, and Mrs. Denby desired to remain in the United
States where she could be near her children from whom she had been
long separated, so her husband felt constrained to say that he did
not wish to return to the Philippines.

I separated from him with the keenest regret. He was an amiable,
tactful man of commanding ability and unimpeachable integrity, actuated
by the best of motives and loyal to the highest ideals. He constantly
sought to avoid not only evil but the appearance of evil. I count it
one of the great privileges of my life to have been associated with
him. The one thing in the book written by James H. Blount which aroused
my ire was his characterization of Colonel Denby as a hypocrite. No
falser, meaner, more utterly contemptible statement was ever made,
and when I read it the temptation rose hot within me to make public
Blount's personal Philippine record, but after the first heat of
anger had passed I remembered what the good old Colonel would have
wished me to do in such a case, and forbore.

The second Philippine commission, hereinafter referred to as "the
commission," received its instructions on April 7, 1900.

They covered a most delicate and complicated subject, namely, the
gradual transfer of control from military to civil authority in a
country extensive regions of which were still in open rebellion.

In the opinion of President McKinley there was no reason why steps
should not be taken, from time to time, to inaugurate governments
essentially popular in their form as fast as territory came under
the permanent control of our troops, and indeed, as we have seen,
this had already been done by the army. It was provided that we
should continue and perfect the work of organizing and establishing
civil governments already commenced by the military authorities. In
doing this we were to act as a board of which Mr. Taft was designated
president. It was contemplated that the transfer of authority from
military commanders to civil officers would be gradual, and full and
complete cooeperation between these authorities was enjoined. Having
familiarized ourselves with the conditions then prevailing in the
islands, we were to devote our attention first to the establishment
of municipal governments, in which the natives should be given the
opportunity to manage their local affairs to the fullest extent and
with the least supervision and control found to be practicable. We were
then to consider the organization of larger administrative divisions,
and when of the opinion that the condition of affairs in the islands
was such that the central administration could safely be transferred
from military to civil control were to report this conclusion to the
secretary of war with our recommendations as to the form of central
government which should be established.

Beginning with September 1, 1900, we were authorized to exercise,
subject to the approval of the President and the secretary of war, the
legislative power, which was then to be transferred from the military
governor to us until the establishment of civil central government,
or until Congress should otherwise provide. We were authorized during
a like period to appoint to office such officers under the judicial,
educational, and civil service systems, and in the municipal and
departmental governments, as were duly provided for. Until the
complete transfer of control the military governor was to remain the
chief executive head of the government and to exercise the executive
authority previously possessed by him and not expressly assigned to
the commission by the president in his instructions. In establishing
municipal governments we were to take as the basis of our work those
established by the military governor, under the order of August 8,
1899, which I had helped to set up, as well as those established
under the report of a board constituted by the military governor by
his order of January 29, 1900, of which Senor Cayetano Arellano was
the president.

In the establishment of departmental or provincial governments we
were to give special attention to the then-existing government of the
island of Negros, established with the approval of the people of that
island under the order of the military governor of July 22, 1899.

We were instructed to investigate troubles growing out of large land
holdings, including those of the religious orders, and to promote,
extend and improve the system of education already inaugurated by
the military authorities, giving first importance to the extension
of a system of primary education free to all, which would tend to fit
the people for the duties of citizenship and the ordinary avocations
of a civilized community. Instruction was to be given at first in
the native dialects, but full opportunity for all of the people to
acquire English was to be provided as soon as possible. If necessity
demanded, we were authorized to make changes in the existing system
of taxation and in the body of the laws under which the people were
governed, although such changes were to be relegated to the civil
government which we were to establish later, so far as might be. Our
instructions contained the following important passages:--

"In all the forms of government and administrative provisions which
they are authorized to prescribe, the commission should bear in
mind that the government which they are establishing is designed
not for our satisfaction, or for the expression of our theoretical
views, but for the happiness, peace and prosperity of the people of
the Philippine Islands, and the measures adopted should be made to
conform to their customs, their habits, and even their prejudices,
to the fullest extent consistent with the accomplishment of the
indispensable requisites of just and effective government.

"At the same time the commission should bear in mind, and the people
of the islands should be made plainly to understand, that there are
certain great principles of government which have been made the basis
of our governmental system which we deem essential to the rule of law
and the maintenance of individual freedom, and of which they have,
unfortunately, been denied the experience possessed by us; that there
are also certain practical rules of government which we have found to
be essential to the preservation of these great principles of liberty
and law, and that these principles and these rules of government
must be established and maintained in their islands for the sake of
their liberty and happiness, however much they may conflict with the
customs or laws of procedure with which they are familiar.

"It is evident that the most enlightened thought of the Philippine
Islands fully appreciates the importance of these principles and
rules, and they will inevitably within a short time command universal
assent. Upon every division and branch of the government of the
Philippines, therefore, must be imposed these inviolable rules:--

"That no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property
without due process of law; that private property shall not be
taken for public use without just compensation; that in all criminal
prosecutions the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public
trial, to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation, to be
confronted with the witnesses against him, to have compulsory process
for obtaining witnesses in his favour, and to have the assistance of
counsel for his defence; that excessive bail shall not be required, nor
excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishment inflicted;
that no person shall be put twice in jeopardy for the same offence,
or be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself;
that the right to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures
shall not be violated; that neither slavery nor involuntary servitude
shall exist except as a punishment for crime; that no bill of attainder
or ex-post-facto law shall be passed; that no law shall be passed
abridging the freedom of speech or of the press, or the rights of
the people to peaceably assemble and petition the Government for
a redress of grievances; that no law shall be made respecting the
establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,
and that the free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and
worship without discrimination or preference shall forever be allowed."

It has been the fashion in some quarters to sneer at the last of these
paragraphs, and to insinuate, if not to charge, that President McKinley
in his policy toward the Philippine Islands was actuated by unworthy
motives. Nothing could be further from the truth. From the beginning
to the end the real good of the several peoples of the archipelago
came first with him, and no one who had the privilege of knowing him
well doubts it. Thoroughly imbued with the lofty sentiments expressed
by him in our instructions, we set forth on our long pilgrimage to a
country where we were to undertake a heavy task essentially different
from that which had ever before fallen to the lot of any five citizens
of the United States.

On April 17, 1900, we sailed from San Francisco on the United
States army transport _Hancock_. We were forty-five strong. Of
this goodly company only four remain in the Philippines to-day,
[458]--Mr. and Mrs. Branagan, Mrs. Worcester and myself. Singularly
enough, with two exceptions, all of the others are still alive
and at work. Arthur W. Ferguson, prince of interpreters, who was
later appointed Executive Secretary, died in the service after more
than six years of extraordinarily faithful and efficient work. James
A. LeRoy, my faithful, able and efficient private secretary, contracted
tuberculosis, and fell a victim to it after a long and gallant fight.

At Honolulu we met with a severe disappointment. It was of course
our duty to call on Governor Dole. We were advised that silk hats
and frock coats must be donned for this visit, and it was perishing
hot. We reached the palace in a reeking perspiration and had a long
wait in a suffocating room. When Mr. Dole appeared, he was closely
followed by an attendant bearing a large and most attractive-looking
bottle carefully wrapped in a napkin, and our spirits rose. But,
alas! It contained Poland water.

At Tokio we had an audience with the Emperor and were received by the
Empress as well. In the high official who had charge of the palace
where these events took place, I discovered an old University of
Michigan graduate who made the occasion especially pleasant for me.

We finally reached Manila on the morning of June 3. Although the
thermometer was in the nineties, a certain frigidity pervaded the
atmosphere on our arrival, which General MacArthur, the military
governor, seemed to regard in the light of an intrusion.

He had been directed to provide suitable office quarters for us. To
our amazement and amusement we found desks for five commissioners
and five private secretaries placed in one little room in the
Ayuntamiento. [459] While it was possible to get through the room
without scrambling over them, it would have been equally possible
to circle it, walking on them, without stepping on the floor. In
the course of our first long official interview with the General,
he informed us that we were "an injection into an otherwise normal

He added that we had already mediatized the volume of work that flowed
over his desk. At the moment none of us were quite sure what he meant,
but we found the word in the dictionary. How often in the weary
years that were to follow I wished that some one would materially
mediatize the task which fell to my lot! It was General MacArthur's
honestly held and frankly expressed opinion that what the Filipinos
needed was "military government pinned to their backs for ten years
with bayonets." He later changed that view very radically, and when
civil provincial governments were finally established it was with
his approval, and, in many instances, upon his specific recommendation.

At the outset some effort was made to keep the public away from
us. Word was passed that we had no authority, which was true enough,
as our legislative activities were not to begin until September
1. The ninety days which intervened were very advantageously spent in
gaining familiarity with the situation, which we had no difficulty
in doing. Plenty of people were already weary of military rule and
flocked to us. None of my companions had ever before set foot in the
Philippines, and although I had spent more than four years there,
I still had plenty to learn.

In this connection I am reminded of an event which occurred somewhat
later. While the commission was en route from Iloilo to Catbalogan
when we were establishing civil provincial governments, General Hughes
and Mr. Taft became involved in a somewhat animated discussion. The
General displayed an accurate knowledge of facts which were of such
a nature that one would hardly have expected an army officer to be
familiar with them. Mr. Taft said: "General, how do you do it? You
have always been a busy man, devoted to your profession. How have you
managed to accumulate such a remarkable fund of information?" The
General smiled his rare smile and replied: "Governor, I will tell
you. I always try to go to bed at night knowing a little more than
I did when I got up in the morning." It is a wise plan to follow.

On September 1 we assumed the legislative power, our first official
act being to appropriate $2,000,000 Mexican for the construction and
repair of highways and bridges.

We were impressed with the fundamental necessity of promptly opening up
lines of land communication in a country which almost completely lacked
them, and there were many poor people in dire need of employment who
would be relieved by the opportunity to earn an honest living which
the inauguration of road construction would afford them.

Our second act appropriated $5000 Mexican for the purpose of making
a survey to ascertain the most advantageous route for a railroad into
the mountains of Benguet, where we wished to establish a much-needed
health resort for the people of the archipelago.

Seven days later we passed an act for the establishment and
maintenance of an efficient and honest civil service in the Philippine
Islands. This measure was of basic importance. We had stipulated before
leaving Washington that no political appointees should be forced upon
us under any circumstances. The members of the second commission, like
their predecessors of the first, were firm in the belief that national
politics should, if possible, be kept out of the administration of
Philippine affairs, and we endeavoured to insure this result.

Our tenth act appropriated $1500 Mexican to be paid to the widow
of Salvador Reyes, vice-president of Santa Cruz in Laguna Province,
assassinated because of his loyalty to the established government.

Our fifteenth act increased the monthly salaries of Filipino public
school teachers in Manila.

Our sixteenth and seventeenth acts reorganized the Forestry Bureau
and the Mining Bureau.

On October 15 we appropriated $1,000,000 United States currency,
for improving the port of Manila, where there was urgent need of
protection for shipping during the typhoon season.

On December 12 we passed an act authorizing the establishment of local
police in cities and towns in the Philippine Islands and appropriating
$150,000 United States currency for their maintenance.

Two days later we passed a much-needed act regulating the sale of
intoxicating liquors within the city of Manila and its attached

On December 21, we appropriated $75,000 United States currency for
the construction of the Benguet Road, little dreaming how much time
would elapse and how many more dollars would be appropriated, before
a vehicle passed over it.

It will be sufficiently evident that I cannot here give an account
of the several acts which we passed when I say that they number four
hundred forty-nine during the first year. We created the administrative
bureaus of a well-organized government, established civil rule in
numerous municipalities and provinces, provided for the necessary
expenses of government, organized courts and reformed the judiciary. So
important were the results following the establishment of the Civil
Service Act and the act providing for the organization of courts for
the Philippine Islands that I have devoted a chapter to each.

Although there were no limits on our power to enact legislation other
than those imposed by our instructions hereinbefore referred to,
nothing was further from our desire than to exercise too arbitrarily
the authority conferred upon us.

Taylor has correctly described our method of procedure in the
following words:--

"On September 1, 1900, the Commission began its legislative and
executive duties. In performing them it adopted the policy of passing
no laws, except in cases of emergency, without publishing them in the
daily press, nor until after they had passed a second reading and the
public had been given an opportunity to come before the Commission and
suggest objections or amendments to the bills. Before enacting them
they were submitted to the military governor for his consideration
and comment." [460]

The other especially important events of our first legislative
year were the establishment of civil rule in the municipalities
as well as in thirty-eight provinces and the substitution of the
military central government by the gradual creation of bureaus and
the ultimate appointment of a civil governor and of five heads of
executive departments.

On November 23, 1900, we passed an act providing for the establishment
of a civil government in the province of Benguet, and thus it happened
that a province practically all of whose inhabitants were members of
a non-Christian tribe was the first to enjoy the benefits of civil
rule. This action grew out of investigations by General Wright and
myself made when visiting Baguio during the latter part of July, which
led us to the conclusion that civil government could be established in
Benguet at any time and should be established as soon as possible. In
view of the rather primitive state of civilization of the people for
whom we were legislating, a special act adapted to local conditions
was passed providing for a provincial government and fixing a form
of government for the several settlements.

On January 31, 1901, we passed an act for the organization of municipal
governments in the Philippine Islands which, with various amendments,
is still in effect and has been made applicable to all municipal
corporations of the Philippines inhabited chiefly by Filipinos, except
the city of Manila, the city of Baguio and a few small settlements
in the so-called special government provinces. [461]

On February 6, 1901, we passed a general act for the organization of
provincial governments in the Philippine Islands. A special act was
required to make it applicable to any given province.

Having thus prepared for the serious work of establishing civil
government throughout the archipelago so fast and so far as conditions
might seem to justify, we determined to visit the several provinces
and to familiarize ourselves with conditions on the ground in each
case before taking action. We invariably sought the opinion of
the military authorities as to the fitness of the provinces under
consideration for civil rule, and never established it except with
their approval. Indeed, in several cases we yielded to their judgment
and organized provinces which we ourselves thought might better wait
for a time.

Our first trip was to the northward along the line of the
Manila-Dagupan railway, and in the course of it we organized the
provinces of Bulaean, Pampanga, Tarlac and Pangasinan.

On the 2d of March we crossed Manila Bay to Bataan and established
a civil provincial government there.

The first provincial officers were necessarily appointed, not
elected. I well remember the consternation which Mr. Taft created
on this trip, when in announcing the appointment of a man of strong
character who was much disliked by some of the people present, he
said that if the appointee did not behave well his official head
would be promptly removed. Surprise showed on almost every face in
the audience. They had become sufficiently accustomed to the idea of
being beheaded or otherwise sent out of the world by their own people,
but had been led to believe that the Americans were a humane nation,
and it took Mr. Taft at least five minutes to explain his joke.

During the second week in March the commission transferred its officers
bodily to the United States Army Transport _Sumner_ and started on
a long journey in the course of which it visited and established
provincial governments in eighteen provinces, [462] returning to
Manila on the 3d of May.

This trip was most interesting but dreadfully wearing. Everywhere
we were overwhelmed by the hospitality of our Filipino friends. We
arrived at some new place nearly every morning, and the programme in
each was much the same. After an early breakfast we hurried ashore,
drove or walked about for a short time to see what the town was like,
and then attended a popular meeting in its largest building, where
we held long and frank converse with the people on local conditions,
giving them every opportunity to air their views, with the result that
the local orators, of whom there were usually more than a sufficiency,
had an opportunity to bring their heavy guns into action. Then followed
a recess in the course of which we partook of a very elaborate lunch,
and when possible conferred privately with influential men, often
learning things which they did not care to tell us in public. Then came
another open meeting at which the actual organization of the province
was effected and the officials were appointed and sworn in. After
this there was a long formal dinner, with the endless courses which
characterize such functions in the Philippines, and then came a ball
which lasted till the wee small hours. When at last we got on board,
tired out, our steamer sailed, and often brought us to some new place
by sunrise.

In several instances we did not pass the act organizing a given
province at the time of our visit, but for one reason or another
postponed action until a later date. We visited a number of places
like Jolo, Basilan, Zamboanga, Cotabato, Davao and Samar, where we
had no intention of establishing civil government, in order to observe
local conditions.

We touched at Marinduque on our trip south, and found that nothing
could then be done there, but the better element were anxious for a
change, and we promised them that if they would bring about certain
specified results before our return we would give them a provincial
government. They undertook to do so, and kept their word. Needless
to say we also kept ours.

We had grave doubts as to the advisability of establishing civil
governments in Cebu, Bohol and Batangas. In the first of these
places the people were sullen and ugly. In the second there was
a marked disinclination on the part of leading citizens to accept
public office. There had been a little scattering rifle fire on the
outskirts of the capital of the third very shortly before our arrival
there, but the organization of all these provinces was recommended by
the military authorities, and we decided to try an experiment which
could do little harm, as we could return any one of them to military
control in short order should such a course seem necessary.

An effort has been made to make it appear that in organizing Cebu,
Bohol and Batangas, we acted prematurely and upon our own initiative,
thus complicating the situation for the military authorities. I will
let Blount voice this complaint. He says in part:--

"In his report for 1901 Governor Taft says that the four principal
provinces, including Batangas, which gave trouble shortly after
the civil government was set up in that year, and had to be
returned to military control, were organized under civil rule 'on
the recommendation' of the then commanding general (MacArthur). It
certainly seems unlikely that the haste to change from military rule to
civil rule came on the motion of the military. If the Commission ever
got, _in writing,_ from General MacArthur, a 'recommendation' that any
provinces be placed under civil rule while still in insurrection, the
text of the writing will show a mere soldierly acquiescence in the will
of Mr. McKinley, the commander-in-chief. Parol [463] contemporaneous
evidence will show that General MacArthur told them, substantially,
that they were 'riding for a fall.' In fact, whenever an insurrection
would break out in a province after Governor Taft's inauguration as
governor, the whole attitude of the army in the Philippines, from
the commanding general down was 'I told you so.' They did not say
this where Governor Taft could hear it, but it was common knowledge
that they were much addicted to damning 'politics' as the cause of
all the trouble." [464]

Prophecy is always dangerous and when unnecessary seems rather
inexcusable. I submit the essential portions of the record to
show exactly what we did get from General MacArthur, and add the
suggestion that it was really hardly essential that he should make
his recommendations in writing, as he did, for the reason that he
was a gentleman and would not have repudiated a verbal recommendation
once made.

On February 5, 1901, Governor Taft wrote General MacArthur a letter
closingwith the following paragraph:--

"As already communicated to you the purpose of the Commission is to
make a Southern trip on the 23rd of February, or as soon thereafter
as practicable, with the idea of arranging for provincial governments
there, and I am directed by the Commission to request your opinion
as to the provinces in which provincial governments may be safely
established. It is understood that Panay, Romblon, Tayabas, and
possibly one or two of the Camarines are ready for this. What has
been said with reference to the Northern provinces applies to these,
but we shall communicate with you further as to the Southern provinces
when we have been advised as to the possibility of securing a steamer."

On February 9, General MacArthur gave the following instructions to
the Commanding General, Department of the Visayas:--

"The Military Governor desires that you report to this office at
the earliest date practicable the provinces in your department that
may be considered ready for the establishment of civil governments
therein and in this connection directs me to say that it should not
be considered as necessary that complete pacification has been brought
about in a province before reporting it as ready for such government;
that the provincial civil governments to be established will doubtless
prove useful agents in the further work of pacification."

On February 27, that officer reported that in his opinion Iloilo,
Capiz, Oriental Negros and Occidental Negros were ready; that Antique
might be in a few days, and that Cebu, Bohol and Leyte were not. These
facts were reported to Governor Taft by General MacArthur on March 4,
and on the same day Lieutenant-Colonel Crowder wrote to the commanding
general of the Visayas:--

"The Military Governor directs me to say that he regards the initiation
of provincial civil government as an aid in the work of pacification,
in which view it is not necessary that a province should be completely
pacified as a condition to the initiation of such government. He has
expressed to the Commission the opinion that you may be able, upon
their arrival at Iloilo, to submit a supplementary list of provinces
in which it would be advisable to establish at once these governments."

Meanwhile General MacArthur wrote on February 13, to Governor Taft:--

"In partial reply to your letter of the 5th instant I have the honor
to inform you that the Commanding General, Department of Southern
Luzon, reports but one province, Tayabas, as ready at the present
time for civil government. I add the provinces of Laguna, Batangas
and Cavite, believing that the institution of civil government in all
these provinces will be in assistance of the military authorities in
the work of pacification."

General MacArthur's communications seem to me to show something more
than "a mere soldierly acquiescence in the will of Mr. McKinley,"
especially as the President had no knowledge of these provinces, and
never made any recommendation whatsoever relative to the establishment
of civil government there.

Similarly, in establishing civil government in Cebu and Bohol, the
commission acted on the specific recommendation of the military, and
rather against its own judgment. There seemed no very good reason for
refusing to try civil government, if the commanding general wanted
it tried, and when it failed, as it promptly did, in Cebu, Bohol and
Batangas, these provinces were immediately returned to the full control
of the military, and left there until conditions became satisfactory.

Having escaped the perils of the deep, and the much graver perils of
the dinner table, during our southern trip, we returned to Manila,
wearier, wiser and sadder men than when we started, for we had learned
much of the superstitions, the ignorance and the obsessions which
prevailed among the Filipinos, and we knew that many of the men who
from love of country had accepted office under us had done so at the
peril of their lives. We had all had an excellent opportunity to come
to know the Filipinos. Their dignity of bearing, their courtesy,
their friendly hospitality, their love of imposing functions, and
of _fiestas_ and display, their childishness and irresponsibility
in many matters, their passion for gambling, for litigation and for
political intrigue, even the loves and the hatreds of some of them,
had been spread before us like an open book. It is a fact that except
for the inhabitants of Cebu, Bohol and Batangas, the people wanted
what we had to give them and were grateful for it. Never before had
they had their day in court, and they appreciated it.

The establishment of civil government throughout so large a proportion
of the provinces in the islands would have been impossible at this
time had it not been for the helpful activities of the Federal
Party organized on December 23, 1900, by many of the best and most
influential Filipinos in the archipelago for the purpose of aiding
in the establishment of peace and order. Its members were tireless in
their activities. They succeeded in persuading many Insurgent leaders
to lay down their arms, so that a normal condition could be restored in
territory which the latter had previously harried. They convinced many
of the common people of the true purposes of the American government,
and in numerous other ways rendered invaluable services.

The officers and many of the members and agents of this party were
promptly sentenced to death by Aguinaldo, and many of them were
assassinated; [465] but the party persisted in its efforts until
success was attained.

During June of 1901 Professor Moses and I made a horseback trip through
Pangasinan, La Union, Benguet, Lepanto and Ilocos Sur, accompanied by
our private secretaries. Professor Moses was in wretched health as the
result of overwork and confinement, and needed out-of-door exercise.

I had been intrusted with the drafting of legislation for the
government of the non-Christian tribes, and wanted to learn as much
about them as possible, so that I could act intelligently.

We started from Dagupan mounted on horses kindly furnished us by the
army, and escorted by four mounted infantrymen. None of us had ridden
for years, and army officers were offering wagers that we would not
get as far as Baguio. At Mangaldan a cavalry outfit replaced our
mounted infantrymen, and while the members of our new escort were
resting under the shade of a tree in the cemetery, I heard them
voicing joyful anticipations of the easy time they were to have
travelling with tenderfeet. I made up ray mind to give them some
healthful exercise on the trip.

Having first visited the work at the lower end of the Benguet Road and
then travelled across country in a driving storm over wretched trails,
we reached Bauang, our point of departure for the interior. Here I
called the sergeant in charge and asked him where were the extra shoes
for our horses. In some confusion he confessed that he had brought
none, whereupon I read him a homily on the duties of a cavalryman,
and sent the whole outfit to San Fernando to get the horses reshod
and provided with extra shoes for the trip.

We arrived at Baguio in a howling typhoon. When we emerged from the
hills into the open, and our horses got the full sweep of the storm,
they at first refused to face it. We forced them into it, however,
and a few moments later had found refuge in the house of Mr. Otto
Scheerer, a hospitable German. The cavalrymen and the horses got in
under the building. It gave me great joy to hear through the floor
the voice of the sergeant remarking, with much emphasis of the sort
best represented in print by dashes, that if he had known the sort
of a trip he was starting on he would have been on sick report the
morning of his departure.

We waited in vain three days for the storm to end and then rode
on. Mr. Scheerer, who accompanied us, had sent ahead to arrange for
lunch at the house of a rich Igorot named Acop, but when we arrived at
this man's place, soaked, cold, and hungry, we found it shut up. He
had not received the message and was away from home. Investigation
showed that our only resource in the commissary line were some
wads of sticky, unsalted, boiled rice which our Igorot carriers had
inside their hats, in contact with their frowsy hair. We bolted as
much of this as the Igorots could spare, killing its rather high
flavour with cayenne peppers picked beside the trail, and continued
our journey. In descending a steep hill my horse stumbled and while
attempting to recover himself drove a sharp stone into his hoof and
turned a complete somersault, throwing me over his head on to the
rocks. When I got him up he was dead lame, and I walked the rest of
the way to Ambuklao, where we arrived just at sunset.

This once prosperous little Igorot hamlet had been burned by the
Spaniards, for no apparent reason, during their flight from the
province in 1906, and we found only two houses standing. They were
naturally crowded. I was so dead with fatigue that I threw my saddle on
the ground, and using it as a pillow, lay down in a couple of inches
of water and fell sound asleep. Later the Igorots vacated one of the
houses, and placed it at our disposal. I spent the greater part of the
night in a contest with an old Igorot woman, who for the commendable
purpose of keeping us warm tended a smoky pitch-pine fire, and shut
the door, which afforded our only means of ventilation, every time I
dropped asleep. Awakened by the stifling smoke I would open it again,
but as soon as I dozed she would shut it. I finally solved the problem
by lying down with my head sticking out of the door.

The next day was bright and clear. We rested until noon, drying
out our belongings meanwhile, and then continued our journey,
visiting the Igorot settlements on the Agno River and those in
southern Lepanto and finally reaching Cervantes, the capital of that
sub-province. The Igorots of Benguet and Lepanto received us with
the utmost friendliness, and when not in danger of breaking our necks
by falling over the edges of the wretched trails, we greatly enjoyed
our trip.

At Cervantes we were met by a delegation of Bontoc Igorots, who begged
us to visit their country, and we were just preparing to do so when
we received a telegram recalling us to Manila to be present at the
inauguration of Mr. Taft as civil governor. During our absence the
commission had established provincial governments in Rizal, Cavite and
Nueva Ecija. Mr. Taft was inaugurated on July 4, 1901. Thenceforth
he exercised control over the provinces where civil government had
been established, while the military governor continued in charge
of each of the remaining provinces until it was duly organized and
transferred to civil control.

In August, 1901, the commission sailed on a tour of the remaining
northern provinces, visiting La Union, Ilocos Sur, Abra, Ilocos Norte,
Cagayan, Isabela and Zambales in the order named, and establishing
a government in each. On the trip to Abra those members of the
eommission not previously accustomed to roughing it in the islands
were given a novel experience, for we went up the Abra River on
bamboo rafts. However, a veritable ship of state had been prepared
for Governor Taft, and no one suffered any great discomfort.

At Vigan, the capital of Ilocos, we narrowly escaped drowning in the
surf when returning to our steamer. For a time our good _viray_ [466]
with some twenty oarsmen was unable to make headway through the rolling
waves. It broached to, nearly filled with water, and struck the bottom
heavily several times. Some of the men quit rowing and began to pray,
whereupon General J. F. Bell, who was sitting in the stern, rose to his
feet, and shouted at them until they became more afraid of him than of
the sea, and pulled for dear life until we were out of danger. Upon
arrival at the ship we watched with interest the progress of other
boats through the surf, and were alarmed to see the men in one madly
divesting themselves of their clothing. When it finally came alongside
its occupants made flying leaps for the gangway, and we discovered
that a great hole had been knocked in its bottom, and that raincoats,
ordinary coats, and trousers had been jammed into this opening in
order to keep the rapidly sinking craft afloat for a few moments.

In the Cagayan valley we had a taste of real tropical heat. Never
have I seen a man suffer more than did Mr. Taft at Ilagan on the day
when we established a provincial government for Isabela, and the night
that followed still lingers in my memory. The air was suffocating. My
bed was in a corner. I dragged it out between a window and a door
and threw both wide open. Still I could not sleep. Slipping off
my pajamas, I seated myself on the broad window sill. The heat was
intolerable. I poured water over myself and resumed my seat in the
window. The water would not evaporate. I sat there until morning,
as I could not endure the heat lying down.

Such conditions are unknown throughout the greater part of the
archipelago, where cool sea breezes temper the heat at all times. In
the Cagayan valley an immense plain is bordered by ranges of high
mountains to the east and the west. They seem to shut off both
monsoons to a considerable extent, and there very trying heat is by
no means unusual.

On September 1, 1901, the first day of the second year of actual
service of the commission, a complete central civil government was
established. Commissioner Wright was appointed secretary of commerce
and police; Commissioner Ide, secretary of finance and justice;
Commissioner Moses, secretary of public instruction, and I myself
secretary of the interior. The commission was strengthened by the
addition of three Filipino members: Senor Benito Legarda, Senor Jose
R. de Luzuriaga, and Dr. T. H. Pardo de Tavera, all of whom were men
of exceptional ability and had rendered distinguished service in the
establishment of peace and order.

Except for the addition of one more Filipino on July 6, 1908, the
organization of the commission has remained unchanged up to the present
time, although there have been numerous changes in its personnel. The
task which lay before it was to enact a code of laws adapted to the
peculiar conditions existing in the Philippines, and this was indeed
a herculean undertaking. Its members laboured unremittingly. Governor
Taft and General Wright were towers of strength in the early days. The
rest of us did what we could, and I, for one, am very proud of the
result. Certainly no one can ever claim that the commission was not
industrious. Before it finally ceased to be the legislative body of
the islands it had passed some eighteen hundred acts. Obviously,
as it is not my purpose to write an encyclopedia of law, I cannot
discuss them in detail, and must content myself with here barely
mentioning a few of the more important results obtained, leaving the
more detailed discussion of some of them for later chapters.

In general, it may be said that the additional bureaus necessary
for the work of the Insular government were created, and given
proper powers. Civil government was gradually extended to the entire
archipelago. [467] The criminal code was amended and supplemented
by the passage of new laws. The administration of justice was
reorganized and reformed. [468] An efficient native insular police
force was organized, and an admirable state of public order brought
about. [469] The health service was extended to the provinces, and
health conditions were greatly improved throughout the islands. [470]
Baguio was made accessible and became both the summer capital and
a health resort for the people of the islands. [471] The scientific
work of the government was cordinated, and efficiency and economy in
its performance were insured. [472]

Primary and secondary schools were established throughout the islands,
supplemented by trade schools, and a normal school at Manila. [473]
Legislation was enacted, and submitted to the President and to
Congress, covering the disposition of public lands. [474] The purchase
of extensive estates belonging to certain religious orders, and the
sale of their holdings therein to tenants, was provided for. [475]
Fairly adequate legislation for the protection and development
of the forest resources of the islands was enacted. [476] Means
of communication by land and sea were greatly improved, and the
development of commerce was thus stimulated. [477]

It is a noteworthy fact that all of these things were done with a
per capita taxation of about $2.24!

Another fundamentally important aid to the commercial development of
the islands was afforded by a radical reformation of the currency.

The islands under the sovereignty of Spain had their own distinct
silver coinage in peso, media peso, peseta and media peseta pieces.

In 1878 the Spanish government, hoping to check the heavy exportation
of gold currency from the Philippines, passed a law prohibiting the
importation of Mexican dollars, but allowed the Mexican dollars then
in the islands to continue to circulate as legal tender.

When the American troops arrived, there were in circulation the
Spanish-Philippine peso and subsidiary silver coins; Spanish pesos
of different mintings; Mexican pesos of different mintings; Hongkong
dollars, fractional silver coins from different Chinese countries,
and copper coins from nearly every country in the Orient. Although a
law had been passed prohibiting the introduction of Mexican dollars
into the islands, they were being constantly smuggled in. Fluctuations
in the price of silver affected the value of the silver coins, and the
money in common use was in reality a commodity, worth on any given day
what one could get for it. These conditions affected most disastrously
the business interests of the islands. Merchants were forced to allow
very wide margins in commercial transactions, because they did not
know what their goods would actually cost them in local currency upon
arrival. The most important business of the local banks was in reality
that of exchange brokers and note shavers. They hammered the exchange
rate down and bought silver, then boosted the rate skyward and sold.

The American army brought in a large amount of gold, but this did
not remain in circulation long, as it was exported by the different
business concerns, or hoarded.

United States silver money had a limited circulation during the
early days of American occupation, but it passed at less than its
true value. An effort was made under the military administration to
keep the ratio of exchange at two to one by the purchase from the
public of all United States currency offered at that rate to the banks.

For a long time the banks refused to carry private accounts in United
States currency, but when it was offered for deposit it was changed
into Mexicans with a heavy charge for the transaction, and an account
opened in Mexican currency to the credit of the depositor. If the
depositor afterward desired to get United States currency, he gave a
check for it at the then existing rate of exchange. Such conditions
were intolerable, and the commission passed an act making it an offence
to refuse to accept for deposit the currency of the sovereign power,
but this did not remedy the fundamental difficulty. There came a
heavy slump in the price of silver. The Insular government lost a
very large sum because of the decrease in value of its silver coin.

Mr. Charles A. Conant had been brought from the United States to make
a report on the feasibility of providing an American coinage for the
islands. He recommended that the unit of value should be a peso,
equivalent to fifty cents United States currency. Congress, by an
act passed July 1, 1902, vested general authority over the coinage
in the Philippine government, but the commission decided not to take
action until more specific authority could be obtained from Congress,
as the proposed reform was radical, and it was very important that the
new currency should at the outset command the confidence so essential
to its success.

After long discussion, Congress authorized, by an act passed March
2, 1903, a new currency system based on a theoretical peso of 12.9
grains of gold 900 fine, equivalent to one-half of a United States
gold dollar. The circulating medium was to be the Philippine silver
peso, which was to be legal tender for all debts, public and private,
and its value was to be maintained on a parity with the theoretical
gold peso. For this purpose the creation of a gold standard, or gold
reserve fund, was provided for, and this fund was to be maintained
and could be used for no other purpose.

Considerable difficulty was experienced in introducing the new currency
into the islands. The banks at first failed to give any assistance to
the government. The business men of Manila, and especially the Chinese,
discounted the new Philippine peso, because it did not contain as
much silver as did the Mexican dollar. They were quickly brought to
time, and given to understand where they stood if they discredited
the currency of the country.

The Spanish Philippine coins and the Mexican coins in circulation were
collected by the treasury and exported to the San Francisco mint,
where they were reminted into new coins of the weight and fineness
prescribed by law.

The establishment of a gold standard fund to maintain the parity
between the gold and silver dollar was quickly effected by the sale of
exchange on the United States in accordance with the established law,
at a cost estimated to be the same as the transportation of the gold
coin itself.

The army, by direction of the secretary of war, ceased to pay
in United States money, and its paymasters were given credit at
the Insular Treasury, where they obtained the necessary funds in
Philippine currency.

The government also authorized, in addition to the coinage of silver,
the issuance of paper money in two, five, and ten peso notes. All of
the coins and bills were readily interchangeable with the United States
coins in common use, the dollar being worth two pesos, the half dollar
one peso, the twenty-five cent piece a half peso, the ten-cent piece
a peseta, the five-cent piece a media peseta and the cent two centavos.

Unfortunately the silver value of the new peso was such that when the
price of silver again rose, its bullion value was greater than its
money value, and in consequence coins of this denomination were hoarded
and exported. It proved necessary to prohibit their exportation,
and to issue new coins of less bullion value, but this was the only
really serious difficulty attending a fundamental reform which put
the currency on a sound basis. The original pesos were recoined and
a handsome profit made on the transaction.

No one who has not lived in a country where the circulating medium
is constantly fluctuating in value can fully appreciate the enormous
benefit conferred on the Philippine Islands by this important reform.

Another reform of far-reaching importance was the readjustment of the
burden of taxation so that it should bear lightly on the necessities
of life, and heavily on its luxuries. This was a complete reversal
of the scheme which we found in force, under which wheat flour and
kerosene oil paid very heavy import duties while cigars and champagne
were lightly taxed.

We imposed export taxes on certain products of the country. Such taxes
are objected to by many political economists, but were approved of by
the Filipinos, who strongly opposed the imposition of a logical and
very necessary personal tax to provide funds for the construction
and maintenance of highways and bridges. It is usually wise, when
practicable, to obtain funds for necessary governmental purposes by
the imposition of taxes which are willingly paid.

Mr. Taft resigned the governorship of the Philippines to become
secretary of war, his resignation taking effect January 31, 1904. He
had performed a monumental work for the Filipinos, and for humanity at
large, during his years of service in the islands, and carried with
him the good will of most of the people whom he had so faithfully,
efficiently and self-sacrificingly served. He had at one time very
gravely impaired his health by hard work, and when the opportunity
came to satisfy a lifelong ambition by accepting appointment as a
Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, he had passed
it by, in order to perform his duty to the people of the Philippine
Islands. As secretary of war, and as President of the United States,
he availed himself of every opportunity which these high offices
afforded to help the Filipinos, and to increase the prosperity of
their country. They have had no better friend, and no other friend
whom they have ever had has been so useful to them. One more proof
of his real greatness is afforded by the fact that to-day, after
being reviled by many Filipino politicians whom he befriended, who
have succeeded to a large degree in making the common people of the
Philippines consider him their enemy, his interest in the people of
the Islands is as keen, and his eagerness to help them is as great,
as in the early days when they acclaimed him their deliverer.

General Luke E. Wright, a democrat of Memphis, Tennessee, was
appointed by President Roosevelt civil governor in Mr. Taft's
place. He rendered his country and the Filipinos most distinguished
service. It is one thing to build up a great government, with numerous
political appointments at one's disposal, and another to stand by and
keep it running smoothly and efficiently, when a lot of disappointed
politicians, who have seen their last hope of political preferment go
a-glimmering, are throwing sand into the bearings of the machine. This
latter class had begun to plot against Governor Taft before his
resignation took effect, but their machinations were rendered fruitless
by the wave of regret raised by his coming departure.

They now devoted themselves, with a good deal of success, to injuring
Governor Wright, who declined to be dictated to, in the matter of
appointments, by the Federal Party, and aroused the ire of many
politicians by occasionally telling the Filipinos unpalatable but
wholesome and necessary truths relative to their fitness for immediate

General Wright, whose title had been changed from governor to
governor-general on February 6, 1905, went on leave during the latter
part of that year, fully expecting to return and resume his work
in the Philippines, but the islands were not to see him again. He
resigned, effective April 1, 1906, to become United States Ambassador
to Japan. In my opinion, the acceptance of his resignation at this time
was one of the gravest mistakes ever made in the Philippine policy of
the United States. The islands were deprived of the services of a very
able and distinguished man, thoroughly conversant with their needs,
who had the courage of his convictions, and whose convictions were
thoroughly sound.

Certain Filipino politicians openly boasted that they had secured his
removal, and they and their ilk were encouraged to put forth new and
pernicious efforts. Had General Wright returned to the islands much of
the political unrest from which they have since suffered would have
been avoided. He was beloved by his associates, who felt a sense of
personal loss when they learned that the places which had known him
in The Philippines would know him no more.

He was succeeded for the brief period of five and a half months by
Judge Henry C. Ide, vice-governor and secretary of finance and justice,
who had performed his duties while he was on leave. Judge Ide was a
republican, from Vermont. He resigned on September 19, 1906.

He was succeeded by General James F. Smith, a democrat from California,
who had come to the islands as a colonel of volunteers, and had won
promotion because of his valuable services in the Visayas, and more
especially in the island of Negros, where he had earned the good
will of the Filipinos by his tact and kindness. Later he had served,
unwillingly, as head of the Manila custom house.

He was subsequently made a justice of the supreme court of the
Philippines. A lawyer by profession, he had resigned this position
with regret to accept appointment, on January 1, 1903, as secretary
of public instruction. He did not desire the governor-generalship and
made a strong but unsuccessful effort to avoid accepting the position,
which he finally took from a sense of duty. He was a good lawyer,
with a big heart, and a keen insight into human nature. He thoroughly
understood the Filipinos, and he made an excellent governor-general. It
was during his term of office that the Philippine Legislature,
composed of an upper appointive house, the Philippine Commission,
and a lower elective house, the Philippine Assembly, met for the
first time on October 16, 1907.

I devote a separate chapter [478] to the Philippine Legislature and
its work, so need not discuss it here. Suffice it to say that such
success as attended the work of this body during its inaugural, first
and special sessions, was very largely due to the tactful influence
of Governor-General Smith, who gave the speaker of the assembly
much valuable, friendly counsel, and kept the two houses working in
comparative harmony. Having struggled through one session of the
legislature, Governor-General Smith felt at liberty to resign. He
greatly desired to leave the Philippine government service and return
to the practice of his profession. His resignation was reluctantly
accepted, about a year after he had tendered it, and he left the
service on November 10, 1909.

He was succeeded by Vice-Governor W. Cameron Forbes, a republican
from Massachusetts, who had accepted appointment as secretary of
commerce and police on June 15, 1904. A man of independent means,
Mr. Forbes entered the public service only because of the opportunity
for greater usefulness which was thus afforded him. He brought to
bear on the problems which confronted him as secretary of commerce
and police intelligence and ability of a very high order. Wide
practical experience in the management of large business interests
had admirably fitted him to improve the organization and increase the
efficiency of the insular police force, and to mature and carry out
plans for bettering means of communication and otherwise facilitating
and stimulating the normal, healthful commercial development of the
islands. I have devoted several chapters to the discussion of the
results accomplished along these lines, [479] and will not attempt
here to enumerate them.

Like all of his predecessors, he brought to the office of
governor-general mature experience gained on the ground, having been
in the service more than five years at the time of his promotion.

As governor-general, he not only retained his keen interest in the
large problems which had previously engaged his attention, and laboured
unceasingly and most successfully in the performance of the duties of
his new office, but took an especial interest in the development of
the summer capital, and in the work for the non-Christian peoples of
the islands, devoting a much greater amount of time and attention to
familiarizing himself with the needs of this portion of the population
than had ever previously been given to it by any governor-general. He
visited the Moros and the Bukidnons in the south, and the Negritos,
the Benguet Igorots, the Lepanto Igorots, the Bontoc Igorots,
the Ilongots, the Ifugaos, the Kalingas, and both the wild and the
civilized Tingians, in the north, repeatedly inspecting the several
sub-provinces of the Mountain Province.

Through his generosity in making proper grounds available, public
interest in outdoor sports was greatly stimulated at Manila and
at Baguio, while his own participation in polo, baseball and golf
was a good example to Americans and Filipinos alike, in a country
where vigorous outdoor exercise is very necessary to the physical
development of the young and the preservation of the health of the
mature. He was a true friend of the Filipinos, whom he genuinely liked
and was always ready to assist. His personal influence was a powerful
factor in the success of the very important work carried on at the
Philippine Normal School and the Philippine Training School for Nurses.

During his term of office the prosperity of the islands increased
by leaps and bounds, public order became better than ever before
in their history, and the efficiency of the civil service reached
its maximum. No other governor-general ever drew so heavily on his
private means in promoting the public good, and it was the irony
of fate that he should have been accused, by certain irresponsible
anti-imperialists, of using his public office to promote his private
interests. Near the end of his administration grossly and absurdly
false charges were made against him on the floor of the House by
Representative William A. Jones. As their falsity has been conclusively
and finally shown, [480] I will not here lend importance to them
by repeating them. No official has ever given any country a cleaner
administration than Governor-General Forbes gave the Philippines.

It was his fortune to be in office at the time of the change in the
national administration of the United States. After continuing to serve
for months with no sign from Washington as to whether his resignation
was desired, he was advised by the Chief of the bureau of insular
affairs that the appointment of Mr. Francis Burton Harrison, who is a
Tammany Hall democrat, as his successor had been sent to the Senate,
[481] and three days after its confirmation received a curt request
for his resignation to be effected in a week and a day. He was also
requested to employ servants for Mr. Harrison. Spaniards who read
on the public streets newspapers which printed this message were
seen to tear them up and stamp on the pieces! Our Spanish friends
are accustomed to expect courtesy in connection with the removal of
faithful and efficient public servants.

All other governors-general had taken the oath of office at
Manila. Mr. Harrison took it at Washington on September 2, 1913. He
is the first American governor of the islands who has entered upon his
high duties without previous experience in the country which he is to
govern, and he has as yet displayed little inclination to profit by
the experience of either Filipino or American administrative insular
officials of high rank. It is too soon to discuss any feature of his
administration other than his attitude toward the civil service,
which I take up elsewhere, [482] and I can only express the hope
that when he has gained that knowledge which can come only through
personal observation on the ground, he will grow to be a wise, strong,
conservative official.

The establishment of civil government in the Philippine Islands under
American rule was a gradual evolution up to the time of the assumption
of control by Governor-General Harrison.

I will not attempt to follow in detail all of its successive stages,
but in closing this chapter will endeavour briefly to summarize the
results obtained up to that time.

The Philippines now have two delegates to the Congress of the United
States appointed by the legislature in accordance with the provision of
Section 8 of the Act of Congress of July 1, 1902. Both are Filipinos.

The ranking executive officials of the insular government are a
governor-general, a secretary of the interior, a secretary of finance
and justice, a secretary of commerce and police and a secretary
of public instruction. All of these officers are appointed by the
President, subject to confirmation by the Senate. The secretary of
finance and justice is a Filipino; the other secretaries of departments
are Americans.

There is a legislature composed of two houses known respectively as
the Philippine Commission and the Philippine Assembly. The Philippine
Commission is composed of nine members; five are the governor-general
and the four secretaries of department _ex officio_, and four are
appointed by the President subject to confirmation by the Senate. Four


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