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HE story of the American Community in the Philippines has been delegated to me to write. In the absence of ability, records, and space, brevity is strongly indicated; yet the full story of the American in the Philippines would take many words and the pen of a master, for in the history of the community there is a new epic of pioneering.
The drift of the Anglo-Saxon toward the West-dating from the sixth century when the Angles, Jutes, and Saxons, three Teutonic tribes, conquered the aboriginal tribes of Britain-has never stopped. This drift of people toward the West until the East has been reached is, without doubt, the greatest flow of people the world has ever witnessed. The flood has reached the coast of Asia and the present century will tell the story of whether the Oriental peoples will be overwhelmed, or the flood thrown back upon itself, to surge forward again and again until its life is beaten out upon the rocks of Orientalism, as the life of all the human floods coming from the other direction has been in the past.
The first phase of the American Community in the Philippines covers that period of time from the beginning of the United States to the close of the Civil War. The Civil War wrecked American trade and prestige in the Pacific through the destruction of some nine hundred American ships by Confederate privateers. With the passing of the ships went American business firms.
The only record of the American Community in the Philippines during this period of time is found on the gravestones of those who died here.
On a little mound of earth in Plaza Cervantes, in the financial district of Manila, stands a small marble monument, queer shaped, battered by time and patched with cement. It is the congregating place where the Filipino chauffeurs, waiting for their masters, spend their time playing dama. This monument lay in a godown in Manila covered with the debris of sixty-five years before it was found by some inquisitive American who, deciphering the almost obliterated inscription, called the fact of its existence to the then American government of the Philippines and it was erected where it now stands, and forgotten. The inscription reads:
"This monument is erected to perpetuate the memory of GEORGE W. Hubbell, Esq., United States Consul to this Island, who died May 3, 1831, aged 35 years. He was a native of Bridgeport, State of Connecticut, and son of Captain Ezekiel Hubbell."
Thousands of people pass daily within thirty feet of the monument and very few notice it, yet it is the only monument in Manila, erected in a public place, to the memory of an early American resident of the Philippines.
In the Cementerio del Norte, to the left going out, on one of the main avenues, under the shade of a number of heavy foliaged trees, rests a little group of Americans, adventurous men and faithful wives who braved the conditions and gave their all to the spread of American trade, commerce, and prestige. The graves of these
OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS.
were found by another inquisitive American in the old Chinese Cemetery and were moved by the American Memorial Committee to the shady plot in the large and beautiful municipal cemetery of Manila. Here are a few of their names, still decipherable notwithstanding the ravages of time.
"Nathan L. Durand, of Melford, Connecticut, died 21st of February, 1835."
"Mrs. Mary Greene Sturgis, of Boston, Massachusetts, died 17th of September, 1837.”
"Gilbert Watson, of Newberryport, Massachusetts, died 6th of November, 1847."
"Josiah Moore, of Malden, Massachusetts, died the 25th of March, 1848."
"John Munro, of New York, died the 5th of November,
1862." Note that the final date coincides with the Civil War and you can, no doubt, picture the sorrow of the rest of this isolated American community in Manila as it witnessed the destruction of the merchant fleet and the passing of its high hopes and ambitions. With the destruction of the American merchant marine, business was no longer possible and the community disappeared.
The second phase of the American Community in the Philippines is found in that period of time from the termination of the Civil War to the occupation of the Philippines by American troops in 1898. It represents the period when an effort was made to reestablish trade with the few American ships left and its record is found on the gravestones in the British cemetery at San Pedro Macati. Here are some of the inscriptions:
"William D. Huntington, of Salem, Massachusetts, died March 12th, 1868.
"J. C. Bramhall, died May 7th, 1868."
"L. S. Crockett, of Searsport, Maine, died July 25th, 1876."
"Fred Campbell Eaton, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, died April 21st, 1876."
"J. W. Killman, of Stockton, Maine, died November 14th, 1878."
"Francis Oakey, of New York, died November 17,
"A. D. Field, of Chelsea, Massachusetts, died October 26th, 1882."
"Julius G. Voigt, United States Consul in Manila, for five years, died April 7, 1888.”
"Henry Grafton Chapman, of Boston, Mass., died March 14th, 1883."
"Robert Fisher, of Chelsea, Mass., died April 25, 1893." "Theresa L. Frost, of Portsmouth, New Hampshire,
died July 13th, 1894."
These came and made their contribution to the epic, some day to be written, of American pioneering in the Orient. Their
troubles can be summed up in the statement that when American troops arrived in 1898 there was no American Community to greet them.
The genesis of the third phase of the American Community is found in the Spanish-American war, the Philippine Insurrection, and the institution of American business enterprise since.
In the beginning the community was made up almost entirely of American soldiers, officers and men, adventurous spirits and legitimate descendants of the people who pioneered Ohio, Kentucky, and the other states of the Middle and Far West who, seeing a big undeveloped country, felt the urge of their forefathers and asked for their discharge and remained. Many of them accepted appointment to office under the civil administration instituted by Governor Taft; others distributed themselves over the country seeking various outlets for their abundant energy. The work of those who accepted the great outdoors as their field of effort was hampered to a great extent by the power and influence of those in office, for in this period of the development of the political responsibilities of the Filipino people, the American civil authorities showed their impartiality by being partial to native desires and discountenanced American effort in any line that could be construed by them as in conflict with the Taft policy of the "Philippines for the Filipinos". To prove their fairness they were unfair, and the dictum of the administration to the effect that the American community consisted largely of adventurers and camp followers and that it should get out of the country if it did not like the policy is still remembered by those who, at that time, were trying to hew something out of the wilderness for themselves. Those who happened to be outside the palings and were not civil officials retaliated by calling those who held government jobs "carpetbaggers". This, however, was only a family row for, in truth, the group of “Adventurers" did not interfere with political affairs for twenty-two years, cognizant of the fact that those in charge of affairs were laboring under difficulties and that loyalty to the American plan of Government would be the best policy. It knew that the success of American Government policy was dependent upon co-operation between Government officials and themselves. Only once in the twenty-two years of "Playing the Game" did the community break away from its dormant and docile attitude, and that was in 1907 when insults offered the flag drove the “adventurers" together with a snap and with such force that within one day the Philippine Commission passed the "Flag Law" to prevent trouble and to evidence respect to the emblem of sovereignty. There are still many "adventurers"—and "carpetbaggers" also-who remember with a thrill the occurrences of the 23rd of August, 1907. Not until the advent of W. Cameron Forbes, as Secretary of Commerce and Police, and the adoption of his plans for the development of transportation and communication, did the American in business have a real opportunity for the extension of his energy. The real development of the Philippines commenced when modern methods were instituted in the construction of general systems of communication and the connecting up of the localized systems of the Spanish régime. This, with the protection given to energetic Americans in Mindanao by General Leonard Wood, and the non-political administration of Governor Forbes when he took possession of Malacañang, forms the basis upon which the whole development of the Philippine Islands rests.
there are others who do not have to strip for the awful livid scars of a bolo rush are blazoned on their faces forever.
The fourth phase of the American Community is its castigation -"adventurers" and "carpetbaggers" alike-by the administration of Governor Harrison who, through a mistaken concept of his countrymen greater than that of any previous American official, through his complacency to native intrigues and politics, lent himself and the power of his office to all that was deterrent to American faith, precept, and prestige-American officials of long standing accomplishment were summarily retired and local native politicians, without experience, were elevated to positions of trust requiring a wide knowledge and versatility. The "carpetbaggers" thus became "adventurers," for they were soon absorbed into the business life of the community.
Soon after this amalgamation of the two elements of the community had taken place an effort was made to bring it into unity, but the various groups constituting it had been isolated so long that unity on the basis of business interests was impossible. The group idea had proven satisfactory to the groups and had been evidenced in forceful and satisfactory ways for there are three physical monuments to group energy in the city of Manila: the Masonic Temple, the Army and Navy Club, and the Elks Club; three splendid modern buildings, up to date in every respect, giving fine service to the groups creating them.
Do not think that the American participation in this development has been easy or that it has not been paid for. Scattered all over the Philippines are little mounds of unmarked earth beneath which rest the bones of Americans who ventured a little too far; too far into the bosque, or too far into competition and politics. From the murder of Ickis and others in Mindanao, Sulu, Negros, Samar, and Leyte to the recent life sentence of Burns, of Samar, the price has been paid and paid fully. No matter what restitution is made, the value of these sacrifices will never be covered. The increment of these sacrifices goes to those who come after, not to those who are dead. It is the Anglo-Saxon sacrifice made to the future of the race; made to those and for those who follow. It is just a small wave of the Anglo-Saxon flood broken down into death, just a ripple of the larger flood behind. All those who contributed did not die, for there are Americans still in the Philippines who, if stripped naked and placed before you, would cause you to wonder how they lived;
Under the muddled and meddling administration of Harrison the American Community would have ceased to progress, and probably to exist, had it not been for the World War. Impartiality of administration was shown by greater partiality than ever. The racial line was drawn to an alarming degree and the two races representing all the potentiality and possibility of progress gradually drew apart until there was left but a shred of the cordiality and respect which had been generated by over a decade of work for the betterment of the country and its people. The lust for power was rampant, and as the political leaders usurped the exercise of sovereignty delegated by the people of the United States to Governor Harrison, they grew ruthless in the use of authority and one day attacked an Act of the Congress of the United States, in its application to the Philippines, and through power of government acting against individuals of the community attempted to force compliance on the part of Americans and American-controlled organizations to the mandates of the political oligarchy opposing the Act. Then, once more, the American Community shed its docile aspect and kicked its dormant sensibilities out of the window and waxed warm and indignant. Out of the ruck came the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippine Islands, organized twenty-two years, two months and two days after Admiral Dewey broke down Spanish power and the work of putting the Filipino people on the map of the world had commenced.
It was organized with a larger membership and a greater capital than any other American Chamber outside the homeland. It represents every phase of American business and interest in the Philippines and is taking the place of a legation to the citizens of the United States residing in the Philippine territory, irrespective of whether they are members of the organization or not. It proposes to be heard on every subject affecting the business or political life of the community. It proposes in all matters: first, to suggest a remedy; second, to ask for its application; third, to demand its application; and fourth to fight for its application, if the other processes are not successful. As a militant body standing on the broad principles of Americanism and fair play it is the greatest power for good to the American Communities of the Far East today. Owing to the fact that the community never has had any direct political or other contact with the Congress of the United States, and that it never can have an official appeal made for it, it is going to couple itself with the homeland by means of an unofficial representative in Washington, through whom it will take up its desires direct to the deciding voice in the destiny of the race in the Orient-the Congress of the United States of America. If its desires are accomplished and the flood of the Anglo-Saxon people is not thrown back upon itself, the Philippines and the Orient will become the place of the most rapid development the world has ever seen.
(Continued on page 11)
On Friday noon, there will be a tiffin in honor of the guests at the American Chamber of Commerce. Later they will all be taken to Bilibid Prison to see the retreat, and then for an auto ride to see some of the suburbs of Manila, including Fort William McKinley. At 6:00 p. m., the visitors will be tendered a Tea Dance by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce at the Hotel de France. The next day, Saturday, the Rotary Club will give a luncheon at the Manila Hotel at 12:30 p. m., in honor of the visiting party and the members of the American Chamber of Commerce. At the same time, the visiting ladies will be entertained at tiffin at the Elks Club.
On Saturday afternoon at 5:00 p. m., a tea dance will be held at the Polo Club for the visitors.
Arrangements are being made to take all the visitors who desire to make the trip to Pagsanjan Gorge on Sunday.
The Wenatchee is due to sail the evening of May 22nd.
LIST OF GUESTS
This list is not complete but is the only list available at time of going to press:
CAPT. J. S. Gibson,
Chairman of Party.
Chairman, Seattle Chamber of Commerce, Naval Affairs Committee.
President, International Stevedoring Co. President, Washington Stevedoring Co.
E. G. ANDERSON,
Vice-President pro tem, Seattle Chamber of Commerce.
Chairman, Foreign Trade Bureau, Seattle Chamber of Commerce.
President, Western Dry Goods Co.
H. C. HENRY,
President, Metropolitan Bank.
J. H. Fox,
President, Commercial Boiler Works.
F G. FRINK,
Vice-President, Washington Iron Works.
C. E. HILL,
D. RODGERS, Shipbuilder.
J. Q. CLEMMER,
Proprietor, Clemmer Theaters.
B. F. BATTERSBY,
R. O. HADLEY,
Secretary, Seattle Chamber of Commerce.
H. F. COMPTON, Lumberman.
C. F. SEEGER,
Milwaukee Railroad Co.
F. O. FINN,
Milwaukee Railroad Co.
Vice-President, Admiral Line,
H. G. SHAW.
R. D. EMERSON.
E. C. RICHARDS. G. STROBLE.
MRS. R. D. EMERSON
President Heath has decided to resume the weekly luncheon feature of the Chamber commencing Wednesday, Wednesday, May 25th. Arrangements are being made to secure interesting speakers for these luncheons to speak on some live topic before the members of the Chamber.
A. C. OF C. CLUB ROOMS BECOMING MORE POPULAR
Every month the average daily attendance at the Chamber increases. In the morning there is always a good attendance at the Coffee Club, and all during the day many drop in to keep business engagements.
Miss Larson, the public stenographer at the Chamber rooms, is always on hand to take down the minutes of any meeting being held and is also ready at all times to take personal and business dictation from those who come to the Chamber.
OUR COVER PAGE
What would the Philippine Islands be without coconut trees? The practical uses to which the coconut is put by the Filipinos, if compiled, would completely fill this magazine.
The native, in his nipa shack nestling in the shade furnished by a coconut grove on the shore of the ocean, is the most independent person in the world. When hungry he can eat coconuts. When thirsty, he has plenty of tuba at his disposal. His house is thatched with coconut leaves. His fish and rice is cooked over coconut shell fires and served in coconut shell dishes. His carabao is fed on copra meal. His wife uses coconut oil on her hair and she bathes the baby with a coconut bowl. When the banca leaks, it is calked with coconut shell scrapings. When the Filipino is in need of money for clothes, a few coconuts can be sold. This is the life!
Among the commercial coconut products are coconut oil, soap, pomade, toilet articles, vegetable butter, vinegar, dye, dessicated coconut and coir, which is made into mats, brushes, brooms and rugs Excellent pies, custards, ice cream and candies are also made from coconut.
The coconut tree shown on the cover page has about two hundred nuts, an excellent yield. The average yield from a full grown tree is generally not over sixty nuts. Approximately seventy-five million coconut trees have been planted in the Philippines and coconut products rank second in our export trade. Tayabas, Laguna, and Zamboanga provinces lead in coconut production in the order named.
Our Bow to the Public
The American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippine Islands has over one thousand American members who are scattered throughout the whole archipelago, from the Sulu Seas to our northernmost province.
Up to the present time, there has been no trade publication published in the interests of the Americans in the Philippines, and the Directors of the Chamber have decided to publish, every month, the American Chamber of Commerce Journal. The purposes of this journal are to work for better co-operation among the American interests in the Islands, to keep our members informed as to what the Chamber is doing and last, but not least, to let those living outside the Philippines realize what the American stands for in the Philippine Islands.
This is our first issue. We hope it interests you enough that you will read it regularly. Suggestions as to improvements in the Journal will be gladly received by the Chairman of the Committee on Publication of the American Chamber of Commerce Journal, Mr. C. W. Rosenstock, or by the Editor, H. Edmund Bullis.
The Wood-Forbes Commission
On behalf of the American citizens residing in the Philippines, the American Chamber of Commerce welcomes the Wood-Forbes Commission to the Philippine Islands.
The American Chamber, and each of its members individually, stand ready and anxious to aid this Commission in any way and at any time.
Boom Times Ahead
The reports from Washington regarding the proposed fifty million dollar terminal facilities for the Philippine Islands are most encouraging. If this project goes through, it will mean that Manila will become the leading trans-shipping port in the Orient. It will mean that feeder lines to Japan, China, Straits Settlements, Java, and the other Asiatic countries will bring their freight to Manila for shipment to the rest of the world. It will mean that Manila will become the Far Eastern terminal for the Pacific Lines instead of Hongkong. This fact will bring millions of dollars to Manila every year for the payment of food supplies and the repairs of vessels, for these boats will lay up in Manila to be overhauled for about a week each trip.
A great part of this fifty millions will be spent for labor and material in the Philippines, which will mean great prosperity.
Every American in the Philippines will be affected by this great project if it goes through, and every American should do all in his or her power to boost for this new project, and take advantage of every opportunity to work for the passage of this appropriation to make Manila the premier port in the Far East.
The Philippines Bid You
The Philippine Islands have been honored at different times by visits of Congressmen, business bodies and other commissions from the United States, but none of these visits have been as important as the present visit of the representatives from the Chambers of Commerce of the Pacific North West.
Undoubtedly, as a result of this trip, a better understanding will be had and many new connections will be formed, which will be of mutual benefit to the Philippines and to the Pacific Northwest. The Philippines have many products which can be more largely used in the Pacific North West and with the much improved transportation service, it is now much easier and cheaper to ship the manufactured goods from Seattle, Portland and Taconia to the Philippines than to the Mississippi Valley. Furthermore, the competition for the sale of these goods in the Philippires is not as keen as in the United States.
At the present time, comparatively little capital has come from the United States, and no one part of the United States has made a bid for the supremacy in Philippine trade. Seattle, Portland and Tacoma have a wonderful opportunity of obtaining the bulk of the trade of the Philippines, if the citizens from these cities show the proper inclination inclination to help in the development of our many natural resources.
These cities, during the last few years, have undoubtedly prospered as much, if not more, than any other large cities in the United States, due to the ship-building and other industries. Many millions of dollars have been made by the great lumber industries there, and the Philippines to-day need, not only part of this money to develop its virginal forested tracts, but also the practical knowledge and ability of these lumbermen, who have made such a decided success in lumbering in the Pacific Northwest.
There are many other kinds of industries which can be developed by the proper co-operative effort of the Americans in the Pacific Northwest and the Americans of the Philippine Islands, and it is hoped that every member of the visiting party will go home enthusiastic about the Philippine Islands and with the intention of interesting his fellow citizens in the wonderful trade and development possibilities in the Philippines.
Our New Secretary of
Mr. Hoover's acceptance of the post of Secretary of Commerce in President Harding's cabinet is a sign that the foreign commerce of the United States during the next four years will be under particularly capable official direction. It needs it. For, while it is a truism to state that the success of our foreign trade depends on private enterprise, much in the way of aid and comfort can be rendered through a department run in truly broad gauge fashion and fortified by a comprehensive knowledge of international commercial affairs.
That Mr. Hoover can bring such knowledge to bear goes without saying. His past career amply proves the fact that he is fully alive to the importance of foreign trade as a fixed national policy, and he can be counted upon to further this policy in every way. His request for a free hand in the direction of his department serves as advance notice to the foreign traders of the country that the department of commerce will be run for their best interests entirely free from political control.