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In the island of Negros, then, it was determined to test in the largest measure this capacity of the inhabitants for self-government, and with this object in view, it was desirable to place one who was well versed in law and civic affairs at the head of the military government of the island. Col. James H. Smith, of the 1st California Volunteers, afterwards General, was found to be admirably qualified for this position to which he was appointed by Gen. Otis.
Col. Smith, with the 1st Battalion of the California Volunteers, Maj. Sime, commanding, acting upon the request of the deputation, proceeded by the transport St. Paul from Manila, and, on the 4th of March, 1899, landed at Bacolod on Negros. The deputation accompanied the command but landed the previous night to arrange the welcome. Half an hour after landing, Capt. Tilly had re-opened communication with Iloilo by cable, and the first message over the line was the following:
The Governor and in habitants of Negros to Gen. Miller, Iloilo.-- We affectionately salute and congratulate ourselves upon the happy arrival of Col. Smith and troops, under your orders, and beg you to send this salutation and congratulation to Gen. Otis, Manila, as the representative of the United States in the Philippines.
ANICETO LACSON. Col. Smith proceeded at once to recognize and continue in force the existing civil government. In adjusting this authority to the needs of the military government a little friction was created, but patience and good judgment prevented any outbreak. The same class of law-breakers, however, are found in Negros as elsewhere in the Visayan Islands. These largely came from an unsubdued class of brigands for whose subjection time will be required.
In March, Lieutenant-Colonel Duboce arrived in Negros with a battalion of the Californias, and immediately the command was called upon to subdue an outbreak of this brigand class. These hill-tribesmen were under the leadership of one Papaissor, and were looting and destroying—their depredations being largely
upon the inhabitants of the lowlands. Their effort, also, was to incite insurrection against the Americans. These brigands had killed many, taken more into captivity, and pillaged the lowland districts. The Californias were despatched against them, two companies under command of Col. Duboce, proceeding
overland, and Maj. THIRD ARTILLERY IN THE TRENches. Photo by K. I. F. Sime, with two other companies by water, on April 2, 1899. The command of Col. Duboce made a forced march of twelve miles and captured Labzid, where the insurgents were well fortified, and destroyed the town, taking thirty-five prisoners, the remainder of the force scattering into the mountains.
Gov. Smith retained exclusive control of the customs, postoffice, telegraph and police force, while all other civil affairs were left in the hands of the natives. The police force was constituted of natives, officered by Americans. Some time after the occupation, Capt. Tilley, of the Signal Corps, was murdered while he was preparing a telegraph line, under a flag of truce. As a punishment, Gen. Smith captured Escalante, where the murder occurred, and killed the natives who were implicated in the defense. During the spring and early summer, several expeditions were made into the interior, and across the island. Among the most important of these was one which resulted in an action at Bobong. This
LOOKING FOR “DINERO." was an entrenched insurgent position, and was carried by the American forces in a hand-to-hand fight, the insurgents leaving one hundred and fifteen killed on the ground. The American loss was one killed and one wounded. There was another sharp engagement at Tibunan, of which Gen. Otis cables as follows: “LieutenantColonel, 6th Inf., with eighty men, encountered one hundred insurgents entrenched in the mountains of the island of Negros and routed them after an hour and a half of severe fighting. The Americans had three men slightly wounded. Nineteen insurgents were found dead in the trenches. It is supposed the insurgents were armed Tagals, who, a few days since, had crossed from Panay in boats.”
Photo by Coombs.
THE SULU ARCHIPELAGO.
On May 20, 1899, Capt. Pratt and his command, consisting of two battalions of the 23d Inf., according to previous arrangement, peaceably received the surrender of the Spanish garrison at Sulu, and thereupon the United States succeeded to this, almost the only actual possession of Spain in the Sulu Archipelago, but at this time there was a ruler of Sulu whose power was far greater than that of Spain, whose title the United States acquired.
Through the fanaticism of the Mohammedans, the Sultan of Sulu is far more powerful than the United States can hope to soon become. Capt. Pratt, soon after his arrival, was waited upon by the Sultan, and in turn Capt. Pratt sought out this Majesty, whose mind may be gathered by these questions then put to Capt. Pratt by him:
“Why did you come here? For land, you have plenty at home. For money, you are rich and I am poor. Why are you here?"!
In July, 1899, Capt. Pratt was succeeded by Maj. Goodale, and subsequently Gen. John C. Bates arrived and concluded a “Treaty" with the Sultan. Gen. Otis summarizes this treaty in the following communication to the War Department, under date of August 24th, last:
An agreement was made with the Sultan and Datos whereby the sovereignty of the United States over the entire Jolo Archipelago is acknowledged; its flag to fly on land and sea; the United States to occupy and control all points deemed necessary. Introducing firearms is prohibited. The Sultan is to assist in suppressing piracy. He agrees to deliver criminals accused of crime not committed by Moros against Moros. Two other points in the archipelago will be occupied by the United States troops when trade and commerce can be controlled.
As with trifling exceptions, the population is Moro, it is evident that the Sultan's power is not greatly interfered with.
The Mohammedan is the dominant creed in Borneo, Sulu Archipelago and the great island of Mindanao. What is known as the Sulu Archipelago consists of about 150 islands, capable, so far as known, of cultivation and possessing some natural resources. What has led to much confusion in the enumeration of the number of islands in the Philippines, is the fact that some have attempted to include in the enumeration all the isolated ground surrounded by water, while others confine the estimate to those of some considerable dimensions or inhabitable. The Spaniards estimate that some ninety-five of the islands in the archipelago are inhabited, but very few of these have any import or export trade, and, with few exceptions, the great mass of natives in the archipelago live with little trade. There are some localities in which agriculture is pursued. The principal products of foreign
MAJ. POTTER AT SAMPALOC CHURCH. dustries in the islands are in a very primitive stage. The islands generally have a salubrious climate, and may be made very productive of all tropical products, but production, for a time to come, must depend upon the native industry, and this seldom looks beyond present needs.
It is probable that trouble may arise should our government attempt to enlarge the control imparted to it by the Spaniards, and hence it is well to examine the nature of the Spanish authority in the archipelago.
Many years since, the weaker of two contending "Sultans” sought an alliance with the Spanish government at Manila, which was perfected upon the agreement that he would recognize Spanish dominion in his territory, under certain restrictions, in consideration of which Spain should subdue the opposition
“Sultan.” While waiting for Spain's co-operation, the Sultan, who was to be aided by the Spaniards, attacked and dispersed the insurgent forces, losing his life in the engagement. The Spanish feet finally arrived, and, finding the Sultan
dead, returned to Manila without, in any manner, complying with the agreement. Adasaolan succeeded to the Sultansbip and made a new alliance with the Mindanao Sultan as well as the Sultan of North Borneo.
Later, the Spaniards attempted to establish their rule in the archipelago, claiming the right by virtue of the old alliance. This was resisted and
TRENCHES NEAR PULILAN, WHERE THIRTY-EIGHT BODIES WERE FOUND.
command perished. The Moros, for a long time thereafter, pursued a kind of predatory warfare in which piracy and brigandage were the chief features. Under these methods they took, and, for a long time held possession of Cebu, Negros, Leyte, Bohol and certain provinces in Panay. Spain, by a series of victories, finally drove the Moros out of their territory and built at Zamboango, a strongly fortified place which they used as a base of operations against the Mohammedans.
Disease attacked the Spaniards at this place and out of a total of 1000 men, 850 died in a twelfth month. In 1770, a kind of treaty was arranged between the governments, so that further warfare was averted, excepting occasional piracies, and this condition prevailed for nearly a century. There now followed a period of years in which the Moros again pillaged and destroyel Spanish coast towns so that in 1876, Spain despatched a force against the Moros which effectually quelled the disturbance. In 1887, the Moros were again found in revolt, and this
KANSAS BOYS BUILDING TRENCHES UNDER HEAVY FIRE. Photo by K. I. F. being suppressed, was succeeded by another revolt. In 1888, an agreement was made which recognized the rule of the Sultan, subject to a kind of Spanish suzerainty, under which Spain paid a yearly stipend to the Sultan for its rights,
which, under the treaty concluded by Gen. Bates, is to be continued by us. Even under this treaty, Spain had never exercised any control in these islands, except in some of the sea-coast towns, and the population in the island interior has known no rule but that of the Sultan. How ineffective was Spanish rule in these islands may be understood from the fact that so late as 1892, the Spanish Gorernor attempted to enforce, for the first time, the collection of a tax upon the Moros. The Sultan with a large following visited the Governor, and in token of his good will, presented him with a basket of pearls. While the Governor was in the act of receiving them, the Sultan drew a barong and split his skull to his teeth. The population of these islands cannot be even approximately given, but whatever it may be, the people have never been subdued, and thus far the Americans have made no serious attempt to do so.