Problems of Expansion - As Considered In Papers and Addresses
by Whitelaw Reid
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The arm of the Californian has not been shortened, that he cannot reach out. The salt has not left him, that he cannot occupy and possess the great ocean that the Lord has given him. Nor has he forgotten the lesson taught by the history of his own race (and of the greatest nations of the world), that oceans no longer separate—they unite. There are no protracted and painful struggles to build a Pacific railroad for your next great step. The right of way is assured, the grading is done, the rails are laid. You have but to buy your rolling-stock at the Union Iron Works, draw up your time-table, and begin business. Or do you think it better that your Pacific railroad should end in the air? Is a six-thousand-mile extension to a through line worthless? Can your Scott shipyards only turn out men-of-war? Can your Senator Perkins only run ships that creep along the coast? Is the broad ocean too deep for him or too wide?

[Sidenote: New Fields and the Need for them.]

Contiguous land gives a nation cohesion; but it is the water that brings other nations near. The continent divides you from customers beyond the mountains; but the ocean unites you with the whole boundless, mysterious Orient. There you find a population of over six hundred millions of souls, between one fourth and one third of the inhabitants of the globe. You are not at a disadvantage in trading with them because they have the start of you in manufactures or skill or capital, as you would be in the countries to which the Atlantic leads. They offer you the best of all commerce—that with people less advanced, exchanging the products of different zones, a people awakening to the complex wants of a civilization that is just stirring them to a new life.

Have you considered what urgent need there will be for those new fields? It is no paltry question of an outlet for the surplus products of a mere nation of seventy-five millions that confronts you. Your mathematical professors will tell you that, at the ratio of increase established in this Nation by the census returns for the century just closing, its population would amount during the next century to the bewildering and incomprehensible figure of twelve hundred millions. The ratio, of course, will not be maintained, since the exceptional circumstances that caused it cannot continue. But no one gives reasons why it should not be half as great. Suppose it to turn out only one fourth as great. Is it the part of statesmanship—is it even the part of every-day, matter-of-fact common sense—to reject or despise these Oriental openings for the products of this people of three hundred million souls the Twentieth Century would need to nourish within our borders? Our total annual trade with China now—with this customer whom the friendly ocean is ready to bring to your very doors—is barely twenty millions. That would be a commerce of the gross amount of six and two third cents for each inhabitant of our country in the next century, with that whole vast region adjoining you, wherein dwell one fourth of the human race!

Even the Spanish trade with the Philippines was thirty millions. They are merely our stepping-stone. But would a wise man kick the stepping-stone away?

[Sidenote: The New Blood Felt.]

San Francisco is exceptionally prosperous now. So is the State of California. Why? Partly, no doubt, because you are sharing the prosperity which blesses the whole country. But is that all? What is this increase in the shipping at your wharves? What was the meaning of those crowded columns of business statistics your newspapers proudly printed last New Year's?—what the significance of the increase in exports and imports, far beyond mere army requirements? Why is every room taken in your big buildings? What has crowded your docks, filled your streets, quickened your markets, rented your stores and dwellings, sent all this new blood pulsing through your veins—made you like the worn Richelieu when, in that moment, there entered his spent veins the might of France?

Was it the rage you have witnessed among some of your own leaders against everything that has been done during the past two years—the warning against everything that is about to be done? Was it the proof of our unworthiness and misdeeds, to which we all penitentially listened, as so eloquently set forth from the high places of light and leading—the long lamentation over how on almost every field we had shown our incapacity; how unfit we were to govern cities, unfit to govern territories, unfit to govern Indians, unfit to govern ourselves—how, in good old theological phrase, we were from head to foot a mass of national wounds and bruises and putrefying sores, and there was no health in us? Was it the demonstration that what we needed was to sit under the live-oaks and "develop the individual man," nor dare to look beyond? Was it the forgetfulness that muscles grow strong only with exercise; that it is the duties of manhood that take the acrid humors out of a youth's blood; that it is great responsibility, manfully met, not cowardly evaded, that sobers and steadies and ennobles?

Some one has lately been quoting Lincoln's phrase, "We cannot escape history." It is a noble and inspiring thought. Most of us dare not look for a separate appearance at that greatest of human bars—may hope only to be reckoned in bulk with the multitude. But even so, however it may be with others on this coast, I, for one, want to be counted with those who had faith in my countrymen; who did not think them incapable of tasks which duty imposed and to which other nations had been equal; who did not disparage their powers or distrust their honest intentions or urge them to refuse their opportunities; to be counted with those who at least had open eyes when they stood in the Golden Gate!

[Sidenote: Wards or Full Partners.]

I do not doubt—you do not doubt—they are the majority. They will prevail. What Duty requires us to take, an enlightened regard for our own interests will require us to hold. The islands will not be thrown away. The American people have made up their minds on that point, if on nothing else.

Well, then, how shall the islands be treated? Are they to be our wards, objects of our duty and our care; or are they to be our full partners? We may as well look that question straight in the face. There is no way around it, or over or under or out of it; and no way of aimlessly and helplessly shuffling it off on the future, for it presses in the legislation of Congress to-day. Wards, flung on our hands by the shipwreck of Spain, helpless, needy, to be cared for and brought up and taught to stand alone as far as they can; or full partners with us in the government and administration of the priceless heritage of our fathers, the peerless Republic of the world and of all the centuries—that is the question!

Men often say—I have even heard it within a week on this coast—that all this is purely imaginary; that nobody favors their admission as States. Let us see. An ounce of fact in a matter of such moment is worth tons of random denial. Within the month a distinguished and experienced United States Senator from the North has announced that he sees no reason why Porto Rico should not be a State. Within the same period one of the leading religious journals of the continent has declared that it would be a selfish and brutal tyranny that would exclude Porto Rico from Statehood. Only a few weeks earlier one of our ablest generals, now commanding a department in one of our dependencies, a laureled hero of two wars, has officially reported to the Government in favor of steps for the admission of Cuba as a State. On every hand rise cries that in any event they cannot and must not be dependencies. Some of these are apparently for mere partizan effect, but others are the obvious promptings of a sincere and high-minded, however mistaken, conviction.

I shall venture, then, to consider it as a real and not an abstract question,—"academic," I think it is the fad of these later days to say,—and I propose again (and again unblushingly) to consider it from what has been called a low and sordid point of view—so low, in fact, so unworthy the respect of latter-day altruistic philosophers, that it merely concerns the interests of our country!

For I take it that if there is one subject on which this Union has a right to consult its own interests and inclinations, it is on the question of admitting new States, or of putting territory in a position where it can ever claim or expect admission; just as the one subject on which nobody disputes the right of a mercantile firm to follow its own inclinations is on that of taking in some unfortunate business man as a partner; or the right of an individual to follow his own inclinations about marrying some needy spinster he may have felt it a duty to befriend. Because they are helpless and needy and on our hands, must we take them into partnership? Because we are going to help them, are we bound to marry them?

[Sidenote: The Porto Rican Question.]

Partly through mere inadvertence, but partly also through crafty design, the wave of generous sympathy for the suffering little island of Porto Rico which has been sweeping over the country has come very near being perverted into the means of turning awry the policy and permanent course of a great Nation. To relieve the temporary distress by recognizing the Porto Ricans as citizens, and by an extension of the Dingley tariff to Porto Rico as a matter of constitutional right, foreclosed the whole question.

I know it is said, plausibly enough, in some quarters, that Congress cannot foreclose the question,—has nothing to do with it, in fact,—but that it is a matter to be settled only by the Supreme Law of the land, of which Congress is merely the servant. The point need not be disputed. But it is an unquestioned part of the Supreme Law of the land, as authoritative within its sphere and as binding as any clause in the Constitution itself, which declares, in the duly ratified Treaty of Paris, that the whole question of the civil rights and political status of the inhabitants in this newly acquired property of ours shall be reserved for the decision of Congress! Let those who invoke the Supreme Law of the land learn and bow to it.

As to the mere duty of prompt and ample relief for the distress in Porto Rico, there is happily not a shade of difference of opinion among the seventy-five millions of our inhabitants. Nor was the free-trade remedy, so vehemently recommended, important enough in itself to provoke serious objection or delay. Cynical observers might find, indeed, a gentle amusement in noting how in the name of humanity the blessings of free trade were invoked by means of the demand for an immediate application of the highest protective tariff known to the history of economics! The very men who denounce this tariff as a Chinese wall are the men who demand its application. They say, "Give Porto Rico free trade," but what their proposal means is, "Deprive Porto Rico of free trade, and put her within the barbarous Chinese wall." Their words sound like offering her the liberty of trade with all the world, but mean forbidding her to trade with anybody except the United States.

[Sidenote: Importance of the Question.]

The importance of the question from an economic point of view has been ludicrously exaggerated on both sides. The original proposal would have in itself done far less harm than its opponents imagined and far less good than its supporters hoped. Yet to the extent of its influence it would have been a step backward. It would have been the rejection of the modern and scientific colonial method, and the adoption instead of the method which has resulted in the most backward, the least productive, and the least prosperous colonies in the world—the method, in a word, of Spain herself. For the Spanish tariff, in fact, made with some little reference to colonial interests, we should merely have substituted our own tariff, made with sole reference to our own interests. A more distinct piece of blacksmith work in economic legislation for a helpless, lonely little island in the mid-Atlantic could not well be imagined. What had poor Porto Rico done, that she should be fenced in from all the Old World by an elaborate and highly complicated system of duties upon imports, calculated to protect the myriad varying manufactures and maintain the high wages of this vast new continent, and as little adapted to Porto Rico's simple needs as is a Jorgensen repeater for the uses of a kitchen clock? Why at the same stroke must she be crushed, as she would have been if the Constitution were extended to her, by a system of internal taxation, which we ourselves prefer to regard as highly exceptional, on tobacco, on tobacco-dealers, on bank-checks, on telegraph and telephone messages, on bills of lading, bills of exchange, leases, mortgages, life-insurance, passenger tickets, medicines, legacies, inheritances, mixed flour, and so on and so on, ad infinitum, ad nauseam? Did she deserve so badly of us that, even in a hurry, we should do this thing to her in the name of humanity?

All the English-speaking world, outside some members of the United States Congress perhaps, long since found a more excellent way. It is simplicity itself. It legislates for a community like Porto Rico with reference to the situation and wants of that community—not with reference to somebody else. It applies to Porto Rico a system devised for Porto Rico—not one devised for a distant and vastly larger country, with totally different situation and wants. It makes no effort to exploit Porto Rico for the benefit of another country. It does make a studied and scientific effort from the Porto Rico point of view (not from that of temporary Spanish holders of the present stocks of Porto Rican products) to see what system will impose the lightest burdens and bring the greatest benefits on Porto Rico herself. The result of that conscientious inquiry may be the discovery that the very best thing to provide for the wants and promote the prosperity of that little community out in the Atlantic Ocean is to bestow upon them the unmixed boon of the high protective Dingley tariff devised for the United States of America. If so, give them the Dingley tariff, and give it straight. If, on the other hand, it should be found that a lower and simpler revenue system, better adapted to a community which has practically no manufactures to protect, with freedom to trade on equal terms with all the world, would impose upon them lighter burdens and bring them greater benefits, then give them that. If it should be further found that, following this, such a system of reciprocal rebates as both Cuba and the United States thought mutually advantageous in the late years of Spanish rule, would be useful to Porto Rico, then give them that. But, in any case, the starting-point should be the needs of Porto Rico herself, intelligently studied and conscientiously met—not the blacksmith's offhand attempt to fit on her head, like a rusty iron pot, an old system made for other needs, other industries, a distant land, and another people.

And beyond and above all, give her the best system for her situation and wants, whether it be our Dingley tariff or some other, because it is the best for her and is therefore our duty—not because it is ours, and therefore, under the Constitution of the United States, her right and her fate. The admission of that ill-omened and unfounded claim would be, at the bar of politics, a colossal blunder; at the bar of patriotism, a colossal crime.

[Sidenote: Political Aspect of the Constitutional Claim.]

The politics of it need not greatly concern this audience or long detain you.

But the facts are interesting. If Porto Rico, instead of belonging to us, is a part of us, so are the Philippines. Our title to each is exactly the same. So are Guam and the Sandwich Islands, if not also Samoa; and so will be Cuba if she comes, or any other West India Island.

First, then, you are proposing to open the ports of the United States directly to the tropical products of the two greatest archipelagos of the world, and indirectly, through the Open Door we have pledged in the Philippines, to all the products of all the world! You guarantee directly to the cheap labor of these tropical regions, and indirectly, but none the less bindingly, to the cheap labor of the world, free admission of their products to this continent, in unrestricted competition with our own higher-paid labor. And as your whole tariff system is thus plucked up by the roots, you must resort to direct taxation for the expenses of the General Government.

Secondly, as if this were not enough, you have made these tropical laborers citizens,—Chinese, half-breeds, pagans, and all,—and have given them the unquestionable and inalienable right to follow their products across the ocean if they like, flood our labor market, and compete in person on our own soil with our own workmen.

Is that the feast to be set before the laboring men of this country? Is that the real inwardness of the Trojan horse pushed forward against our tariff wall, in the name of humanity, to suffering Porto Rico? What a programme for the wise humanitarians who have been bewitching the world with noble statesmanship at Washington to propose laying before the organized labor of this country as their chosen platform for the approaching Presidential campaign! They need have no fear the intelligent workingmen of America will fail to appreciate the sweet boon they offer.

[Sidenote: The Patriotic Aspect of it.]

But if the question thus raised at the bar of politics may seem to some only food for laughter, that at the bar of patriotism is matter for tears. If the islanders are already citizens, then they are entitled to the future of citizens. If the territory is already an integral part of the United States, then by all our practice and traditions it has the right to admission in States of suitable size and population. Is it said we could keep them out as we have kept out sparsely settled New Mexico? How long do you expect to keep New Mexico out, or Oklahoma, or Arizona? What luck did you have in keeping out others—even Utah, with its bar sinister of the twin relic of barbarism? How long would it take your politicians of the baser sort to combine for the admission of the islands whose electoral votes they had reason to think they could control?

But it is said that Porto Rico deserves admission anyway, because we are bound by the volunteered assurance of General Miles that they should have the rights of American citizens. Perhaps; though there is no evidence that he meant more, or that they thought he meant more, than such rights as American citizens everywhere enjoy, even in the District of Columbia—equal laws, security of life and property, freedom from arbitrary arrests, local self-government, in a word, the civil rights which the genius of our Government secures to all under our control who are capable of exercising them. If he did mean more, or if they thought he meant more, did that entitle him to anticipate his chief and override in casual military proclamation the Supreme Law of the land whose commission he bore? Or did it entitle them to suppose that he could?

But Porto Rico received the irresistible army of General Miles so handsomely, and is so unfortunate and so little! Reasons all for consideration, certainly, for care, for generosity—but not for starting the avalanche, on the theory that after it has got under only a little headway we can still stop it if we want to. Who thinks he can lay his hand on the rugged edge of the Muir Glacier and compel it to advance no farther? Who believes that we can admit this little island from the mid-Atlantic, a third of the way over to Africa, and then reject nearer and more valuable islands when they come? The famous law of political gravitation which John Quincy Adams prophetically announced three quarters of a century ago will then be acting with ever-increasing force. And, at any rate, beside Porto Rico, and with the same title, stand the Philippines!

Regard, I beg of you, in the calm white light that befits these cloistered retreats of sober thought, the degradation of the Republic thus coolly anticipated by the men that assure us we have no possessions whose people are not entitled under our Constitution to citizenship and ultimately to Statehood! Surely to an audience of scholars and patriots like this not one word need be added. Emboldened by the approval you have so generously expressed, I venture to close by assuming without hesitation that you will not dishonor your Government by evading its duty, nor betray it by forcing unfit partners upon it, nor rob it by blind and perverse neglect of its interests.

May I not go further, and vouch for you, as Californians, that the faith of the fathers has not forsaken the sons—that you still believe in the possibilities of the good land the Lord has given you, and mean to work them out; that you know what hour the national clock has struck, and are not mistaking this for the Eighteenth Century; that you will bid the men who have made that mistake, the men of little faith, the shirkers, the doubters, the carpers, the grumblers, begone, like Diogenes, to their tubs—aye, better his instruction and require these his followers to get out of your light? For, lo! yet another century is upon you, before which even the marvels of the Nineteenth are to grow pale. As of old, light breaks from the east, but now also, for you, from the farther East. It circles the world in both directions, like the flag it is newly gilding now with its tropic beams. The dawn of the Twentieth Century bursts upon you without needing to cross the Sierras, and bathes at once in its golden splendors, with simultaneous effulgence, the Narrows of Sandy Hook and the peerless portals of the Golden Gate.



This speech was delivered at the Farewell Banquet given by over four hundred citizens of San Francisco to the second Philippine Commission, on the eve of their sailing for Manila, at the Palace Hotel, April 12, 1900. The title is adopted from the phrase used by the President of the Commission in his response; to which a leading journal of the Pacific coast, "The Seattle Post-Intelligencer," promptly added that the address "spoke for the whole people of the United States," and was "the concrete expression of a desire that animates nine tenths of all our citizens." Judge Taft frankly stated his concurrence in the views expressed (though he held some legal doubts as to whether the Constitution of the United States did not extend, ex proprio vigore, to the new possessions), and he pledged the Commission against the influence of political considerations.


The kindness of your call shall not be misinterpreted or taken advantage of. Quite enough of my voice has been heard in the land, and that very recently, as some of you can testify to your cost. There are others here with far greater claims upon your attention, and I promise to be as brief as heretofore I have been prolix.

The occasion is understood to be primarily one of congratulation and personal good will. It is evident that San Francisco thinks well of the Pacific coast member of this Commission, and none the worse because he seems to have been chosen for the post merely on account of his being peculiarly fit for it. The city gladly takes the rest of you on faith, believing that the same rule of selection must have been applied in the cases with which it has not the happiness to be quite so familiar.

But it is an occasion, I am authoritatively assured, of no political significance whatever. It embraces in its comprehensive impulse of greeting and good wishes Republicans and Democrats and Dewey men; men who hold the offices, men who want the offices, and men who say, "A plague on both your houses!"—men who indorse the course of the Administration, and men who believe the acquisition of the Philippines a mistake. I shall not attempt to disguise from you the fact that this last is not an opinion that I individually hold. Still, I can respect the convictions of those who do.

But evidently we can have no concurrence to-night on our extra-continental policy, since the differences are so wide on vital points. Yet the organizers of this testimonial made no mistake. There is a common ground for our meeting. We are all citizens of the Republic, grateful for our high privilege and solicitous that the Republic shall take no harm—all Americans, proud of the name and eager that it shall never be stained by base or unworthy acts. There is no one here, of whatever political faith or lack of faith, who is not a patriot, anxious for our country on these new and untried paths it must walk—most desirous that all its ways may prove ways of pleasantness and all its paths lead to honorable peace.

Well, then, gentlemen, what is it that a company thus divided in opinion, and united only in patriotic aspirations, can agree in looking to this Commission for? What do the American people in general, and without distinction of party, look to them for?

Did I hear a public opponent but personal friend over there murmur as his reply, "Not much of anything"? Alas! we may as well recognize that there are political augurs who are ready to give just that as their horoscope, and even point to their useful predecessor, the last Commission, for presumptive proof! In fact, there are occasional grumblers who would look for more from them if they were fewer. These skeptical critics recognize that sometimes in a multitude of counselors there may be safety, but also recall the maxim that councils of war never fight. If the truth must be whispered in the ear of the Commissioners, there are here and there very sincere, capable people who are growing a bit weary of a multiplicity of commissions. They say—so cynical are they—that, in all ages and countries, the easiest method of evading or postponing a difficult problem has been to appoint a commission on it and thus prolong the circumlocution.

For a first thing, then, on which we are all united, we look hopefully to our guests to redeem the character of this mode of government by commission. For we assume that they are sent out to the archipelago to govern; and just at present we don't know of any part of the country's possessions that seems more in need of government.

We all unite in regarding them as setting sail, not only charged with the national interests, but dignified and ennobled by a guardianship of the national honor. Thus we are trying to put ourselves in Emerson's state of mind about a certain notable young poet, and unite in hoping that, to use his well-known phrase, we greet them at the beginning of a great career.

We certainly unite in earnestly wishing that they may make the best of a situation which none of us wholly like, and many dislike with all their hearts: the best of it for the country which, by good management or bad, rightfully or wrongfully, is at any rate clearly and in the eyes of the whole world now responsible for the outcome; and the best of it, no less, for the distracted people thrown upon our hands.

We cannot well help uniting in the further hope that their first success will be the re-establishment of order throughout regions lately filled with violence and bloodshed; and that they can then bring about a system of just and swift punishment for future crimes of disorder, since all experience in those regions and among those people shows that the neglect to enforce such punishment is itself the gravest and cruelest of crimes.

Nor can any one here help uniting in the hope that their next and crowning success will some way be attained in the preservation and extension of those great civil rights whose growth is the distinction, the world over, of Anglo-Saxon civilization; whose consummate flower and fruitage are the glory of our own Government.

I am even bold enough to believe that, however it might have been twelve months ago, or but six months ago, there is no one here to-night, recognizing the changed circumstances now, who would think they could best secure those rights to all the people by calling back the leader who is in hiding, and his forces, which are scattered and disorganized, and by now abandoning to such revengeful rule the great majority of the islanders who have remained peaceful and orderly during our occupation. For the present, at least, we unite in recognizing that they are forced to retain that care themselves; forced to act in the common interest of all the people there, not in the sole interest of a warring faction in a single tribe—in the interest of all the islands for which we have accepted responsibility, not simply of the one, or of a part of the population on the one, that has made the most trouble.

There can be little disagreement in this company on the further proposition that, in like manner, they must act in the interest of all the people here. In the interest of the islanders, they will soon seek to raise the needed revenue in the way least burdensome and most beneficial to the islands; but in the interest of their country, we cannot expect them to begin by assuming that the only way to help the islanders is to throw products of tropic cheap labor into unrestricted competition with similar products of our highly paid labor. In the interest of the islanders, they will secure and guarantee the civil rights which belong to the very genius of American institutions; but in the interest of their country, they will not make haste to extend the privilege of American citizenship, and so, on the one hand, enable those peoples of the China Sea, Chinese or half-breed or what not, to flood our labor market in advance of any readiness at home to change our present laws of exclusion, while, on the other hand, opening the door to them as States in the Union to take part in the government of this continent. If, in the Providence of God, and in contempt of past judicial rulings, the Supreme Court should finally command it, this Commission, like every other branch of the Government, will obey. Till then we may be sure it will not, in sheer eagerness and joyfulness of heart, anticipate, or, as Wall Street speculators say, "discount," such a decree for national degradation. But in their own land, and, as far as may be, in accordance with their old customs and laws, the Commission will secure to them, if it is to win the success we all wish it, first every civil right we enjoy, and next the fullest measure of political rights and local self-government they are found capable of sustaining, with ordered liberty for all the people.

There, then, is the doom we have reason to expect this Commission to inflict on these temporarily turbulent wards of the Nation! First order; then justice; then American civil rights, not for a class, or a tribe, or a race, but for all the people; then local self-government.

But if your guests begin this task with the notion that they are the first officials of a free people ever given such work, and must therefore, American fashion, discover from the foundation for themselves,—if they fancy nobody ever dealt with semi-civilized Orientals till we stumbled on them in the Philippines,—they will waste precious time in costly experiments, if not fail outright. It isn't worth while thus to invent over again everything down to the very alphabet of work among such people. We can afford to abate the self-sufficiency of the almighty Yankee Nation enough to profit a little by the lessons other people have learned in going over the road before us.

From such lessons they will be sure to gather at once that if they now show a trace of timidity or hesitation in their firm and just course, because somebody has said something in Washington or on the stump, or because there is an election coming on, they will fail.

In fact, if they do not know now, as well as they know what soil they still stand on and what countrymen are about them, and if they do not act as if they knew, that, no matter what the politicians or the platforms say, and no matter what party comes into power, the American people have at present no notion of throwing these islands away, or abandoning them, or neglecting the care of them, they have not mastered the plainest part of their problem, and must fail.

Above all, if there is a trace of politics in their work, or of seeking for political effect at home, they will fail, and deserve to fail. In this most delicate and difficult task before them there is no salvation but in the scrupulous choice of the very best fitted agency available, in each particular case, for the particular work in hand. If they appoint one man, or encourage or silently submit to the appointment of one man, to responsible place in their service among these islanders, merely because he has been useful in politics at home, they will be organizing failure and discredit in advance.

But they will do no such things. Not so has this body of men been selected. Not such is the high appreciation of the opportunity offered that has led you, Mr. President of the Commission, to abandon your well-earned and distinguished place at home to begin a new career at the antipodes. Yet more—I, at least, can certify to this company that not such is the sense of public duty you inherited from your honored father, and have consistently illustrated throughout your own career. You will not fail, because you know the peril and the prize. You will not fail, because you have civilization and law and ordered freedom, the honor of your land and the happiness of a new one, in your care—because you know that, for uncounted peoples, the hopes of future years hang breathless on your fate. And so, gentlemen of the Commission, good-by, and God-speed!

In spite of rock and tempest's roar, In spite of false lights on the shore, Sail on, nor fear to breast the sea!









The United States has as much power as any other Government.

"The Constitution of the United States established a Government, and not a league, compact, or partnership.... As a Government it was invested with all the attributes of sovereignty.... It is not only a Government, but it is a National Government, and the only Government in this country that has the character of nationality.... Such being the character of the General Government, it seems to be a self-evident proposition that it is invested with all those inherent and implied powers which, at the time of adopting the Constitution, were generally considered to belong to every Government as such, and as being essential to the exercise of its functions." (Mr. Justice Bradley, United States Supreme Court, Legal Tender Cases, 12 Wall. 554.)

The United States can acquire territory by conquest or by treaty, as a condition of peace or as indemnity.

"The United States ... may extend its boundaries by conquest or treaty, and may demand the cession of territory as the condition of peace, in order to indemnify its citizens for the injuries they have suffered, or to reimburse the Government for the expenses of the war. But this can only be done by the treaty-making power or the legislative authority." (United States Supreme Court, Fleming et al. v. Page, 9 How. 614.)

The United States can have a valid title by conquest to territory not a part of the Union.

"By the laws and usages of nations, conquest is a valid title.... As regarded by all other nations it [Tampico] was a part of the United States, and belonged to them as exclusively as a Territory included in our established boundaries, but yet it was not a part of the Union." (United States Supreme Court, Fleming et al. v. Page, 9 How. 603-615.)

A title so acquired by the United States cannot be questioned in its courts.

"If those departments which are intrusted with the foreign intercourse of the Nation ... have unequivocally asserted its rights of dominion over a country of which it is in possession and which it claims under a treaty, if the legislature has acted on the construction thus asserted, it is not in its own courts that this construction is to be denied. A question like this, respecting the boundaries of a nation, is ... more a political than a legal question, and in its discussion the courts of every country must respect the pronounced will of the legislature." (Mr. Chief Justice Marshall, Foster et al. v. Neilson, 2 Peters 253, 309.)

Yet such territory may be still outside the United States (meaning thereby the American Union organized by the Constitution—the Nation), and cannot get in without action by the political authorities.

"The boundaries of the United States, as they existed when war was declared against Mexico, were not extended by the conquest.... They remained unchanged. And every place which was out of the limits of the United States, as previously established by the political authorities of the Government, was still foreign." (Fleming et al. v. Page, 9 How. 616.)

The United States can govern such territory as it pleases. Thus it can withhold any power of local legislation.

"Possessing the power to erect a Territorial government for Alaska, they could confer upon it such powers, judicial and executive, as they deemed most suitable to the necessities of the inhabitants. It was unquestionably within the constitutional power of Congress to withhold from the inhabitants of Alaska the power to legislate and make laws. In the absence, then, of any law-making power in the Territory, to what source must the people look for the laws by which they are to be governed? This question can admit of but one answer. Congress is the only law-making power for Alaska." (United States v. Nelson, 29 Fed. Rep. 202, 205, 206.)

Mr. Jefferson even held that the United States could sell territory, hold it as a colony, or regulate its commerce as it pleased.

"The Territory [Louisiana] was purchased by the United States in their confederate capacity, and may be disposed of by them at their pleasure. It is in the nature of a colony whose commerce may be regulated without any reference to the Constitution." (And Louisiana was so governed for years after the purchase, with different tariff requirements from those of the United States, and without trial by jury in civil cases.)

Again, the United States may even (as in the case of Consular Courts) withhold the right of trial by jury.

"By the Constitution a government is ordained and established 'for the United States of America,' and not for countries outside of their limits. The guaranties it affords against accusation of capital or infamous crimes, except by indictment or presentment by a grand jury, and for an impartial trial by a jury when thus accused, apply only to citizens and others within the United States, or who are brought there for trial for alleged offenses committed elsewhere, and not to residents or temporary sojourners abroad. The Constitution can have no operation in another country." (In re Ross, 140 U.S. 463, 465.) (In this case the prisoner insisted that the refusal to allow him a trial by jury was a fatal defect in the jurisdiction exercised by the court, and rendered its judgment absolutely void.)

The United States can govern such territory through Congress.

"At the time the Constitution was formed the limits of the territory over which it was to operate were generally defined and recognized. These States, this territory, and future States to be admitted into the Union, are the sole objects of the Constitution. There is no express provision whatever made in the Constitution for the acquisition or government of territories beyond those limits. The right, therefore, of acquiring territory is altogether incidental to the treaty-making power, and perhaps to the power of admitting new States into the Union; and the government of such acquisitions is, of course, left to the legislative power of the Union, as far as that power is controlled by treaty." (Mr. Justice Johnson of the Supreme Court, sitting in the Circuit, in Am. Ins. Co. v. Canter, 1 Pet. 517.)

Mr. Chief Justice Marshall, affirming the above decision, says:

"Perhaps the power of governing a Territory belonging to the United States which has not, by becoming a State, acquired the means of self-government, may result necessarily from the facts that it is not within the jurisdiction of any particular State, and is within the power and jurisdiction of the United States. The right to govern may be the inevitable consequence of the right to acquire territory. Whichever may be the source whence the power is derived, the possession of it is unquestioned." (1 Pet. 541, 542.)

The General Government exercises a sovereignty independent of the Constitution.

"Their people [in organized Territories] do not constitute a sovereign power. All political authority exercised therein is derived [not from the Constitution, but] from the General Government." (Snow v. United States, 18 Wall. 317, 320.)

The General Government is expected, however, to be controlled as to personal and civil rights by the general principles of the Constitution.

"The personal and civil rights of the inhabitants of the Territories are secured to them, as to other citizens, by the principles of constitutional liberty which restrain all the agencies of government." (Murphy v. Ramsay, 114 U.S. 15, 44, 45.)

"Doubtless Congress, in legislating for the Territories, would be subject to those fundamental limitations in favor of personal rights which are formulated in the Constitution and its amendments; but these limitations would exist rather by inference and the general spirit of the Constitution, from which Congress derives all its powers, than by any express and direct application of its provisions." (Mormon Church v. United States, 136 U.S. 1, 44; Thompson v. Utah, 170 U.S. 343, 349.)



The one point at which the opponents of the doctrine that Congress can govern the Territories as it pleases are able to make a prima facie case by quoting a decision of the Supreme Court, is as to the application of the United States tariff to the Territories. When California was acquired, but before Congress had acted or a Collection District had been established, the Supreme Court sustained the demand for duties under the United States tariff on goods landed at California ports (Cross v. Harrison, 16 How. 164). Mr. Justice Wayne said:

"By the ratifications of the treaty California became a part of the United States. And as there is nothing differently stipulated in the treaty with respect to commerce, it became instantly bound and privileged by the laws which Congress had passed to raise a revenue from duties on imports and tonnage.... The right claimed to land foreign goods within the United States at any place out of a Collection District, if allowed, would be a violation of that provision in the Constitution which enjoins that all duties, imposts, and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States."

The court here bases its reasoning distinctly on the treaty by which California was acquired. But that treaty gave the pledge that California (an adjacent Territory) should be incorporated into the American Union. The Treaty of Paris gave no such pledge as to the Philippines (not adjacent territory, but nine thousand miles away), could not in the nature of the case have given such a pledge, and did provide, instead, that the whole question of the civil rights and political status of the native inhabitants should be determined by the Congress. Recalling Mr. Justice Story's remark that in a Constitution "there ought to be a capacity to provide for future contingencies as they may happen, and as these are ... illimitable in their nature, so it is impossible safely to limit that capacity," it would seem that there would certainly be elasticity enough in the Constitution, or common sense enough in its interpretation, to permit the Supreme Court to perceive some difference between a requirement of uniform tariff on this continent over a territory specifically acquired in order to be made a State, and such a requirement on the other side of the globe over territory not so acquired. The case becomes stronger when the treaty (also constitutionally a part of the Supreme Law of the land) turns over the political status of the latter territory entirely to Congress.

The Constitution makes the same or similar requirements of uniformity throughout the United States as to the tariff, internal taxes, courts, and the right of trial by jury. But in every case the early practice did not construe this to include the Territories.

As to uniformity in tariff. It was not enforced rigidly in Louisiana for years. So little, in fact, was it then held that Louisiana, as soon as acquired, became an integral part of the United States (notwithstanding the treaty provision that in time it should), that though the directors of the United States Bank were empowered to establish offices of discount and deposit "wheresoever they shall think fit within the United States," they did not consider this a warrant for establishing one in New Orleans, and actually secured from the Congress for that purpose a bill, signed by Thomas Jefferson on March 23, 1804, extending their authority, under the terms of their original charter, to "any part of the Territories or dependencies of the United States."

As to uniformity in internal taxes. The very first levied in the United States, that of March 3, 1791, omitted the Territories altogether, dividing the United States into fourteen Collection Districts, "each consisting of one State." It is not until 1798 that any trace can be found of a collection of internal revenue in the territory northwest of the Ohio.

As to the courts. The Constitution requires that the judicial officers of the United States shall hold office during good behavior. For a century the judicial officers of Territories have been restricted to fixed terms of office.

As to trial by jury. The Constitution gives the right to it to every criminal case in the United States, and to every civil case involving over twenty dollars. Under Mr. Jefferson's government of Louisiana, trial by jury was limited to capital cases in criminal prosecutions. It has likewise been denied in Consular Courts.



Adopted by Congress, April 19, 1898: by the Senate at 1:38 A.M., 42 to 35; by the House at 2:40 A.M., 311 to 6.

WHEREAS, The abhorrent conditions which have existed for more than three years in the island of Cuba, so near our own borders, have shocked the moral sense of the people of the United States, have been a disgrace to Christian civilization,—culminating, as they have, in the destruction of a United States battle-ship, with two hundred and sixty of its officers and crew, while on a friendly visit in the harbor of Havana,—and cannot longer be endured, as has been set forth by the President of the United States in his message to Congress of April 11, 1898, upon which the action of Congress was invited; therefore be it resolved,

First, That the people of the island of Cuba are, and of right ought to be, free and independent.

Second, That it is the duty of the United States to demand, and the Government of the United States does hereby demand, that the Government of Spain at once relinquish its authority and government in the island of Cuba and withdraw its land and naval forces from Cuba and Cuban waters.

Third, That the President of the United States be, and he hereby is, directed and empowered to use the entire land and naval forces of the United States, and to call into the actual service of the United States the militia of the several States to such an extent as may be necessary to carry these resolutions into effect.

Fourth, That the United States hereby disclaims any disposition or intention to exercise sovereignty, jurisdiction, or control over said island, except for the pacification thereof, and asserts its determination when that is accomplished to leave the government and control of the island to its people.



William R. Day, Secretary of State of the United States, and His Excellency Jules Cambon, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of France at Washington, respectively possessing for this purpose full authority from the Government of the United States and the Government of Spain, have concluded and signed the following articles, embodying the terms on which the two Governments have agreed in respect to the matters hereinafter set forth, having in view the establishment of peace between the two countries, that is to say:


Spain will relinquish all claim of sovereignty over and title to Cuba.


Spain will cede to the United States the island of Porto Rico and other islands now under Spanish sovereignty in the West Indies, and also an island in the Ladrones to be selected by the United States.


The United States will occupy and hold the city, bay, and harbor of Manila, pending the conclusion of a treaty of peace which shall determine the control, disposition, and government of the Philippines.


Spain will immediately evacuate Cuba, Porto Rico, and other islands now under Spanish sovereignty in the West Indies; and to this end each Government will, within ten days after the signing of this protocol, appoint Commissioners, and the Commissioners so appointed shall, within thirty days after the signing of this protocol, meet at Havana for the purpose of arranging and carrying out the details of the aforesaid evacuation of Cuba and the adjacent Spanish islands; and each Government will, within ten days after the signing of this protocol, also appoint other Commissioners, who shall, within thirty days after the signing of this protocol, meet at San Juan, in Porto Rico, for the purpose of arranging and carrying out the details of the aforesaid evacuation of Porto Rico and other islands now under Spanish sovereignty in the West Indies.


The United States and Spain will each appoint not more than five Commissioners to treat of peace, and the Commissioners so appointed shall meet at Paris not later than October 1, 1898, and proceed to the negotiation and conclusion of a treaty of peace, which treaty shall be subject to ratification according to the respective constitutional forms of the two countries.


Upon the conclusion and signing of this protocol, hostilities between the two countries shall be suspended, and notice to that effect shall be given as soon as possible by each Government to the commanders of its military and naval forces.

Done at Washington in duplicate, in English and in French, by the undersigned, who have hereunto set their hands and seals the twelfth day of August, 1898.




Negotiations begun in Paris, October 1, 1898. Treaty signed in Paris, 8:45 P.M., December 10. Delivered by United States Commissioners to the President, December 24; transmitted to the Senate with the official report of the negotiations, January 4, 1899; ratified by Senate in executive session, February 6, by a vote of 57 against 27. Formal exchange of ratifications at Washington, April 11. Twenty millions paid through Jules Cambon, May 1. Treaty ratified by Spanish Senate, July 3, 1899.

The United States of America and Her Majesty the Queen Regent of Spain, in the name of her august son, Don Alfonso XIII, desiring to end the state of war now existing between the two countries, have for that purpose appointed as plenipotentiaries:

The President of the United States,

William R. Day, Cushman K. Davis, William P. Frye, George Gray, and Whitelaw Reid, citizens of the United States;

And Her Majesty the Queen Regent of Spain,

Don Eugenio Montero Rios, President of the Senate; Don Buenaventura de Abarzuza, Senator of the Kingdom and ex-Minister of the Crown; Don Jose de Garnica, Deputy to the Cortes and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court; Don Wenceslao Ramirez de Villa Urrutia, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary at Brussels; and Don Rafael Cerero, General of Division;

* * * * *

Who, having assembled in Paris and having exchanged their full powers, which were found to be in due and proper form, have, after discussion of the matters before them, agreed upon the following articles:

* * * * *

Article I. Spain relinquishes all claim of sovereignty over and title to Cuba.

And as the island is, upon its evacuation by Spain, to be occupied by the United States, the United States will, so long as such occupation shall last, assume and discharge the obligations that may under international law result from the fact of its occupation for the protection of life and property.

Article II. Spain cedes to the United States the island of Porto Rico and other islands now under Spanish sovereignty in the West Indies, and the island of Guam, in the Marianas or Ladrones.

Article III. Spain cedes to the United States the archipelago known as the Philippine Islands, and comprehending the islands lying within the following lines:

A line running from west to east along or near the twentieth parallel of north latitude, and through the middle of the navigable channel of Bachti, from the one hundred and eighteenth (118th) to the one hundred and twenty-seventh (127th) degree meridian of longitude east of Greenwich, thence along the one hundred and twenty-seventh (127th) degree meridian of longitude east of Greenwich to the parallel of four degrees and forty-five minutes (4 deg. 45') north latitude, thence along the parallel of four degrees and forty-five minutes (4 deg. 45') north latitude to its intersection with the meridian of longitude one hundred and nineteen degrees and thirty-five minutes (119 deg. 35') east of Greenwich, thence along the meridian of longitude one hundred and nineteen degrees and thirty-five minutes (119 deg. 35') east of Greenwich to the parallel of latitude seven degrees and forty minutes (7 deg. 40') north, thence along the parallel of latitude seven degrees and forty minutes (7 deg. 40') north to its intersection with the one hundred and sixteenth (116th) degree meridian of longitude east of Greenwich, thence by a direct line to the intersection of the tenth (10th) degree parallel of north latitude with the one hundred and eighteenth (118th) degree meridian of longitude east of Greenwich, and thence along the one hundred and eighteenth (118th) degree meridian of longitude east of Greenwich to the point of beginning.

The United States will pay to Spain the sum of twenty million dollars ($20,000,000) within three months after the exchange of the ratifications of the present treaty.

Article IV. The United States will for ten years from the date of exchange of ratifications of the present treaty admit Spanish ships and merchandise to the ports of the Philippine Islands on the same terms as ships and merchandise of the United States.

Article V. The United States will, upon the signature of the present treaty, send back to Spain, at its own cost, the Spanish soldiers taken as prisoners of war on the capture of Manila by the American forces. The arms of the soldiers in question shall be restored to them.

Spain will, upon the exchange of the ratifications of the present treaty, proceed to evacuate the Philippines, as well as the island of Guam, on terms similar to those agreed upon by the Commissioners appointed to arrange for the evacuation of Porto Rico and other islands in the West Indies under the protocol of August 12, 1898, which is to continue in force till its provisions are completely executed.

The time within which the evacuation of the Philippine Islands and Guam shall be completed shall be fixed by the two Governments. Stands of colors, uncaptured war-vessels, small arms, guns of all calibers, with their carriages and accessories, powder, ammunition, live stock, and materials and supplies of all kinds belonging to the land and naval forces of Spain in the Philippines and Guam remain the property of Spain. Pieces of heavy ordnance, exclusive of field artillery, in the fortifications and coast defenses, shall remain in their emplacements for the term of six months, to be reckoned from the exchange of ratifications of the treaty; and the United States may in the meantime purchase such material from Spain, if a satisfactory agreement between the two Governments on the subject shall be reached.

Article VI. Spain will, upon the signature of the present treaty, release all prisoners of war and all persons detained or imprisoned for political offenses in connection with the insurrections in Cuba and the Philippines and the war with the United States.

Reciprocally the United States will release all persons made prisoners of war by the American forces, and will undertake to obtain the release of all Spanish prisoners in the hands of the insurgents in Cuba and the Philippines.

The Government of the United States will at its own cost return to Spain, and the Government of Spain will at its own cost return to the United States, Cuba, Porto Rico, and the Philippines, according to the situation of their respective homes, prisoners released or caused to be released by them, respectively, under this article.

Article VII. The United States and Spain mutually relinquish all claims for indemnity, national and individual, of every kind, of either Government, or of its citizens or subjects, against the other Government, which may have arisen since the beginning of the late insurrection in Cuba, and prior to the exchange of ratifications of the present treaty, including all claims for indemnity for the cost of the war. The United States will adjudicate and settle the claims of its citizens against Spain relinquished in this article.

Article VIII. In conformity with the provisions of Articles I, II, and III of this treaty, Spain relinquishes in Cuba and cedes in Porto Rico and other islands in the West Indies, in the island of Guam, and in the Philippine Archipelago all the buildings, wharves, barracks, forts, structures, public highways, and other immovable property which in conformity with law belong to the public domain and as such belong to the Crown of Spain.

And it is hereby declared that the relinquishment or cession, as the case may be, to which the preceding paragraph refers, cannot in any respect impair the property or rights which by law belong to the peaceful possession of property of all kinds of provinces, municipalities, public or private establishments, ecclesiastical or civic bodies or any other associations having legal capacity to acquire and possess property in the aforesaid territories renounced or ceded, or of private individuals, of whatsoever nationality such individuals may be.

The aforesaid relinquishment or cession, as the case may be, includes all documents exclusively referring to the sovereignty relinquished or ceded that may exist in the archives of the Peninsula. Where any document in such archives only in part relates to said sovereignty a copy of such part will be furnished whenever it shall be requested. Like rules shall be reciprocally observed in favor of Spain in respect of documents in the archives of the islands above referred to.

In the aforesaid relinquishment or cession, as the case may be, are also included such rights as the Crown of Spain and its authorities possess in respect of the official archives and records, executive as well as judicial, in the islands above referred to, which relate to said islands or the rights and property of their inhabitants. Such archives and records shall be carefully preserved, and private persons shall, without distinction, have the right to require, in accordance with the law, authenticated copies of the contracts, wills, and other instruments forming pact of notarial protocols or files, or which may be contained in the executive or judicial archives, be the latter in Spain or in the islands aforesaid.

Article IX. Spanish subjects, natives of the Peninsula, residing in the territory over which Spain by the present treaty relinquishes or cedes her sovereignty, may remain in such territory or may remove therefrom, retaining in either event all their rights of property, including the right to sell or dispose of such property or of its proceeds; and they shall also have the right to carry on their industry, commerce, and professions, being subject in respect thereof to such laws as are applicable to other foreigners. In case they remain in the territory they may preserve their allegiance to the Crown of Spain by making, before a court of record, within a year from the date of the exchange of ratifications of this treaty, a declaration of their decision to preserve such allegiance; in default of which declaration they shall be held to have renounced it and to have adopted the nationality of the territory in which they may reside.

The civil rights and political status of the native inhabitants of the territories hereby ceded to the United States shall be determined by the Congress.

Article X. The inhabitants of the territories over which Spain relinquishes or cedes her sovereignty shall be secured in the free exercise of their religion.

Article XI. The Spaniards residing in the territories over which Spain by this treaty cedes or relinquishes her sovereignty shall be subject in matters civil as well as criminal to the jurisdiction of the courts of the country wherein they reside, pursuant to the ordinary laws governing the same; and they shall have the right to appear before such courts and to pursue the same course as citizens of the country to which the courts belong.

Article XII. Judicial proceedings pending at the time of the exchange of ratifications of this treaty in the territories over which Spain relinquishes or cedes her sovereignty shall be determined according to the following rules:

First. Judgments rendered either in civil suits between private individuals or in criminal matters, before the date mentioned, and with respect to which there is no recourse or right of review under the Spanish law, shall be deemed to be final, and shall be executed in due form by competent authority in the territory within which such judgments should be carried out.

Second. Civil suits between private individuals which may on the date mentioned be undetermined shall be prosecuted to judgment before the court in which they may then be pending, or in the court that may be substituted therefor.

Third. Criminal actions pending on the date mentioned before the Supreme Court of Spain against citizens of the territory which by this treaty ceases to be Spanish shall continue under its jurisdiction until final judgment; but, such judgment having been rendered, the execution thereof shall be committed to the competent authority of the place in which the case arose.

Article XIII. The rights of property secured by copyrights and patents acquired by Spaniards in the island of Cuba, and in Porto Rico, the Philippines, and other ceded territories, at the time of the exchange of the ratifications of this treaty, shall continue to be respected. Spanish scientific, literary, and artistic works not subversive of public order in the territories in question shall continue to be admitted free of duty into such territories for the period of ten years, to be reckoned from the date of the exchange of the ratifications of this treaty.

Article XIV. Spain shall have the power to establish consular officers in the ports and places of the territories the sovereignty over which has either been relinquished or ceded by the present treaty.

Article XV. The Government of each country will, for the term of ten years, accord to the merchant-vessels of the other country the same treatment in respect to all port charges, including entrance and clearance dues, light dues and tonnage duties, as it accords to its own merchant-vessels not engaged in the coastwise trade.

This article may at any time be terminated on six months' notice given by either Government to the other.

Article XVI. It is understood that any obligations assumed in this treaty by the United States with respect to Cuba are limited to the time of its occupancy thereof; but it will, upon the termination of such occupancy, advise any Government established in the island to assume the same obligations.

Article XVII. The present treaty shall be ratified by the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate thereof, and by Her Majesty the Queen Regent of Spain; and the ratifications shall be exchanged at Washington within six months from the date hereof, or earlier if possible.

In faith whereof we, the respective plenipotentiaries, have signed this treaty and have hereunto affixed our seals.

Done in duplicate at Paris, the tenth day of December, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and ninety-eight.



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