Page images
PDF
EPUB

For practical purposes, there are eight islands in the Hawaiian group. The others are mere rocks, of no value at present. These eight islands, beginning from the northwest, are named Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Kahoolawe, Maui and Hawaii. The areas of the islands are:

Square miles.
Niihau ....

97
Kauai ....

590 Oahu

600 Molokai ...

270 Maui ......

760 Lanai .......

150 Kahoolawe ....

63 Hawaii ........

..... 4,210

...

Total
Total .......

..................................

6.740

On Oahu is the capital, Honolulu. It is a city numbering 30,000 inhabitants, and is pleasantly situated on the south side of the Island. The city extends a considerable distance up Nuuanu Valley, and has wings extending northwest and southeast. Except in the business blocks, every house stands in its own garden, and some of the houses are very handsome.

The city is lighted with electric light, there is a complete telephone system, and tramcars run at short intervals along the principal streets and continue out to a sea-bathing resort and public park, four miles from the city. There are numerous stores where all kinds of goods can be obtained. The public buildings are attractive and commodious. There are numerous churches, schools, a public library of over 10,000 volumes, Y. M. C. A. Hall, Masonic Temple, Odd Fellows' Hall, and theater. There is frequent steam communication with San Francisco, once a month with Victoria (British Columbia), and twice a month with New Zealand and the Australian colonies. Steamers also connect Honolulu with Japan. There are three evening daily papers published in English, one daily morning paper and two weeklies. Besides these, there are papers published in the Hawaiian, Portuguese, Japanese and Chinese languages, and also monthly magazines in various tongues.

The population of the Islands, in 1897, consisted of 109,020 persons, of whom 72,517 were males, and 36,503 females.

The other territory acquired was purely a result of the Spanish war. Porto Rico came into the Union with little resistance on the part of the people. They were as anxious, almost, to be rid of Spanish rule, as were the Cubans, and its 3,600 square miles of territory will one day be among the fairest States of our Union.

The Philippines were not so ready to receive American rule as were Hawaii and Porto Rico. So better statement ci the Philippine question will be found than that of President McKinley in his message of December, 1899. He said:

“On the roth of December, 1898, the treaty of peace between the Uniter States and Spain was signed. It provided, among other things. that Spain should cede to the United States the archipelago known as the Philippine Islands, that the United States should pay to Spain the sum of $20,000,000, and that the civil rights and political status of the native inhabitants of the territories thus ceded to the United States should be determined by the congress.

"The treaty was ratified by the senate on the 6th of Febuary, 1899. and by the government of Spain on the 19th of March following. The ratifications were exchanged on the rith of April, and the treaty publicly proclaimed. On the 2d day of March the congress voted the sum contemplated by the treaty, and the amount was paid over to the Spanish government on the ist day of May.

“In this manner the Philippines came to the United States. The islands were ceded by the government of Spain, which had been in undisputed possession of them for centuries. They were accepted not merely by our authorized commissioners in Paris, under the direction of the executive, but by the constitutional and well-considered action of the representatives of the people of the United States in both houses of congress.

“I had every reason to believe, and I still believe, that this transfer of sovereignty was in accord with the wishes and the aspirations of the great mass of the Filipino people, not to make war.

“From the earliest moment no opportunity was lost of assuring the people of the islands of our ardent desire for their welfare, and of the intention of this government to do everything possible to advance their interests. In my order of the 19th of May, 1898, the commander of the military expedition dispatched to the Philippines was instructed to declare that we came not to make war upon the people of that country, "nor upon any party or faction among them, but to protect them in their homes, in their employments, and in their personal and religious rights."

THERE TO PRESERVE PEACE. That there should be no doubt as to the paramount authority there, on the 17th of August it was directed that "there must be no joint occupation with the insurgents;" that the United States must preserve the peace and protect persons and property within the territory occupied by their military and naval forces; that the insurgents and all others must recognize the military occupation and authority of the United States.

As early as December 4, before the cession, and in anticipation of that event, the commander in Manila was urged to restore peace and tranquillity and to undertake the establishment of beneficent government, which should afford the fullest security for life and property.

On December 21, after the treaty was signed, the commander of the forces of occupation was instructed “to announce and proclaim in the most public manner that we come, not as invaders and conquerors, but as friends to protect the natives in their homes, in their employments, and in their personal and religious rights."

On the same day, while ordering General Otis to see that the peace should be preserved in Iloilo, he was admonished that: “It is most important that there should be no conflict with the insurgents.” On the ist day of January, 1899, urgent orders were reiterated that the kindly intentions of this government should be in every possible way communicated to the insurgents.

THE PHILIPPINE COMMISSION. On January 21 I announced my intention of dispatching to Manila a commission composed of three gentlemen of the highest character and distinction, thoroughly acquainted with the orient, who, in association with Admiral Dewey and Major-General Otis, were instructed to "facilitate the most humane and effective extension of authority throughout the islands, and to secure with the least possible delay the benefits of a wise and generous protection of life and property to the inhabitants."

These gentlemen were Dr. Jacob Gould Schurman, president of Cornell University; Hon. Charles Denby, for many years minister to China, and Prof. Dean C. Worcester, of the University of Michigan, who had made a most careful study of life in the Philippines.

While the treaty of peace was under consideration in the senate these commissioners set out on their mission of good will and liberation. Their character was a sufficient guaranty of the beneficent purpose with which they went, even if they had not borne the positive instructions of this government, which made their errand pre-eminently one of peace and friendship.

BLAMES PHILIPPINE LEADERS.

Before their arrival at Manila the sinister ambition of a few leaders of the Filipinos had created a situation full of embarrassments for us and most grievous in its consequences to themselves. The clear and impartial preliminary report of the commissioners, which I transmit herewith, gives so lucid and comprehensive a history of the present insurrectionary movement that the story need not be here repeated. It is enough to say that the claim of the rebel leader that he was promised independence by any officer of the United States in return for his assistance has no foundation in fact and is categorically denied by the very witnesses who were called to prove it. The most the insurgent leader hoped for when he came back to Manila was the liberation of the islands írom Spanish control, which they had been laboring for years without success to throw off.

THE AMBITION OF AGUINALDO.

The prompt accomplishment of this work by the American army and navy gave him other ideas and ambitions, and insidious suggestions from various quarters perverted the purposes and intentions with which he had taken up arms. So sooner had our army captured Janila than the Filipino forces began to assume the attitude of suspicion and hostility which the utmost efforts of our officers and troops were unable to disarm or modify

Their kindness and forbearance were taken as a proof of cowardice. The aggressions of the Filipinos continually increased, until finally, just before the time set by the senate of the United States for a vote upon the treaty, an attack, evidently prepared in advance, was made all along the American lines, which resulted in a terribly destructive and sanguinary repulse of the insurgents.

ORDER FOR A MASSACRE. Ten days later an order of the insurgent government was issued to its adherents who had remained in Manila, of which General Otis justly observes that "for barbarous intent it is unequaled in modern times.”

It directs that at 8 o'clock on the night of the 15th of February, the territorial militia shall come together in the streets of San Pedro, armed with their bolos, with guns and ammunition, where convenient; that Filipino families only shall be respected; but that all other individuals, of whatever race they may be, shall be exterminated without any compassion, after the extermination of the army of occupation, and adds:

“Brothers, we must avenge ourselves on the Americans and exterminate them, that we may take our revenge for the infamies and treacheries which they have committed upon us. Have no compassion upon them; attack with vigor.”

A copy of this fell, by good fortune, into the hands of our officers, and they were able to take measures to control the rising, which was actually attempted on the night of February 22, a week later than was originally contemplated.

Considerable numbers of armed insurgents entered the city by waterways and swamps, and in concert with confederates inside attempted to destroy Manila by fire. They were kept in check during the night and the next day driven out of the city with heavy loss.

WHAT THE COMMISSIONERS FOUND. This was the unhappy condition of affairs which confronted our commissioners on their arrival in Manila. They had come with the hope and intention of co-operating with Admiral Dewey and MajorGeneral Otis in establishing peace and order in the archipelago and the largest measure of self-government compatible with the true welfare of the people. What they actually found can best be set forth in their own words:

“Deplorable as war is, the one in which we are now engaged was 'unavoidable to us. We were attacked by a bold, adventurous, and enthusiastic army. No alternative was left to us, except ignominious retreat.

"It is not to be conceived of that any American would have sanctioned the surrender of Manila to the insurgents. Our obligations to other nations and to the friendly Filipinos and to ourselves and our flag demanded that force should be met with force. Whatever the future of the Philippines may be, there is no course open to us now except the prosecution of the war until the insurgents are reduced to submission. The commission is of the opinion that there has been no time since the destruction of the Spanish squadron by Admiral Dewey when it was possible to withdraw our forces from the islands, either with honor to ourselves or with safety to the inhabitants.'

THE REBELLION MUST BE PUT DOWN. The course thus clearly indicated has been unflinchingly pursued. The rebellion must be put down. Civil government cannot be thoroughly established until order is restored. With a devotion and gallantry worthy of its most brilliant history the army, ably and loyally assisted by the navy, has carried on this unwelcome but most righteous campaign with richly deserved success.

The noble self-sacrifice with which our soldiers and sailors whose terms of service had expired refused to avail themselves of their right to return home as long as they were needed at the front, forms one of the brightest pages in our annals.

Although their operations have been somewhat interrupted and checked by a rainy season of unusual violence and duration, they have gained ground steadily in every direction, and now look forward confidently to a speedy completion of their task.

« PreviousContinue »