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Lodge Committee

The Lodge Committee was a U.S. Senate committee which held hearings to investigate allegations of war crimes in the Philippine-American War. The hearings commenced on January 31, 1902 and adjourned on June 28, 1902. They were closed to the public, except for three press associations. The final report came to 3,000 pages.

Ironically, a remark to a Manila News reporter by newly-promoted Brigadier General Jacob H. Smith on November 4, 1901, triggered the formation of the committee whose findings would lead to Smith's own court martial and conviction. Smith said that he intended to set the entire island of Samar ablaze, and would probably wipe out most of the population.

Senator George Frisbie Hoar had been demanding an investigation after increasing evidence of US military war crimes in the Philippine-American War. Hoar introduced the resolution for the committee on January 13, 1902. After Jacob H. Smith blatant comments, President Teddy Roosevelt's apologists were forced to respond. To try to mute the investigation, these apologists insisted that the committee be part of the standing U.S. Senate Committee on the Philippines headed by imperialist Republican Senator Henry Cabot Lodge.

Anti-imperialists justifiably feared a whitewash. Lodge had been avoiding investigating mounting allegations of war crimes so much so that the U.S. Senate Committee on the Philippines had been inactive for several months.

Senators on the committee

The committee included Democratic and Republican anti-imperialists:
*George Frisbie Hoar, Anti-imperialist Republican of Massachusetts
*Charles Allen Culberson, Democrat of Texas,
*Thomas MacDonald Patterson, Democrat of Colorado
*Joseph Lafayette Rawlins, Democrat of Utah
*Edward Ward Carmack, Democrat of Tennessee and
*Eugene Hale of Maine (the only other Republican who had voted with Hoar against the Treaty of Paris)

The committee included Republican imperialists:
*Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts, chairman
*Albert J. Beveridge of Indiana
*Redfield Proctor of Vermont
*William Boyd Allison of Iowa
*Charles Henry Dietrich of Nebraska
*Louis Emory McComas of Maryland
*Julius Caesar Burrows of Michigan

The hearings often degenerated into shouting matches between the imperialists and anti-imperialists. Nothing came of the hearings.

The witnesses and procedures of the committee

First Witness: William Howard Taft

Taft testified for nearly a month, beginning January 31, 1902

Governor William Howard Taft had arrived in the Philippines in June 1900 with the Taft Commission to set up a civilian government. Taft was the first to testify in the Lodge Committee. As a lawyer, Taft would be assumed to have been a safe witness for the imperialists, but he conceded under questioning that "the torturing of natives by so-called water-cure and other methods" had been used "on some occasions to extract information"..."There are some amusing instances of Filipinos who came in and said they would not say anything unless tortured; that they must have an excuse for what they proposed to say."

As Miller writes, "Very few died from the water cure, a mild form of torture."

Taft was immediately followed by three pro-imperialist witnesses, who often made embarrassing remarks and self-damaging confessions.

* Governor-General of the Philippines

Second Witness: General Robert P. Hughes

General Robert P. Hughes was chief of staff to General Elwell S. Otis

Hughes testified for two weeks. (March 5, 6, 8, Tuesday, March 11,, 1902)

Hughes conceded that Fillipino houses were burned indiscriminately for two reasons:

* as a strategy to eliminate shelters and hiding places for guerrillas
* as a deterrent

Senator Dietrich followed up by asking Hughes to estimate the value of these houses. Hughes said they only took a few days to build, and cost between $1.50 and $4.00.

Senator Rawlins then ask General R.P. Hughes some questions:

Rawlins: If these shacks were of no consequence what was the utility of their destruction?

Hughes: The destruction was a punishment. They permitted these people to come in there and conceal themselves and they gave no sign. It is always--

Rawlins: The punishment in that case would fall, not upon the men, who could go elsewhere, but mainly upon the women and little children.

Hughes: The women and children are part of the family, and where you wish to inflict a punishment you can punish the man probably worse in that way than in any other.

Rawlins: But is that within the ordinary rules of civilized warfare? Of course you could exterminate the family which would be still worse punishment.

Hughes: These people are not civilized.

Rawlins: But is that within the ordinary rules of civilized warfare?

Huhges: No; I think it is not.

Dietrich: In order to carry on civilized warfare both sides have to engage in such warfare.

Hughes: Yes sir; certainly that is the point, I think that if I am allowed to go on I will come to a place where I shall have something to say that will bear directly on the subject.

Senator Hale then said that the war had become less and less civilized with each successive commander. Hughes agreed saying:

"from summer to summer, the conduct of the war was sterner, stiffer, as you call it."

Third Witness: David Prescott Barrows

David P. Barrows, school director in the Philippines. Testified for three days.

Barrows told the committee that the anti-imperialist press had grossly distorted the situation. For example, concentration camps and the water cure were explained in the press as "more terrible than they are." The Filipinos were in the camps were "there of their own volition," for they "are pleased with it, because they are permitted to lead an easier life--much easier than at home." Water cure "injured no one." In fact, the natives had benefited from the war.

"Of course, I do not wish to assent to the proposition that war is a good thing...but where you have a war existing, it is, I think, better to go ahead and pursue it rigorously and finish it."

* Collections on David P. Barrows
* Biography on David Prescott Barrows

Fourth Witness: General Elwell Stephen Otis

''Testified week of March 20, 1902. (March 20, March 21)

General Otis stated that there had been no warfare in the Philippines for the past two years.

Senator Hale countered: "There have been a good many fights since."

Otis responded: "By the robbers. We were laughed at by the Spainards and European officers for the humanity that we exercised."

(Break for two weeks)

Report by Major Cornelius Gardener

A West Point graduate serving as provincial governor of Tayabas, the province next to Batangas

Senator Lodge laid before the committee Gardner's report on April 10, 1902:

"Of late by reason of the conduct of the troops, such as the extensive burning of the barrios in trying to lay waste the country so that the insurgents cannot occupy it, the torturing of natives by so-called water cure and other methods, in order to obtain information, the harsh treatment of natives generally, and the failure of inexperienced, lately appointed Lieutenants commanding posts, to distinguish between those who are friendly and those unfriendly and to treat every native as if he were, whether or no, an insurrecto at heart, this favorable sentiment above referred to is being fast destroyed and a deep hatred toward us engendered."

"The course now being pursued in this province and in the Provinces of Batangas, Laguna, and Samar is in my opinion sowing the seeds for a perpetual revolution against us hereafter whenever a good opportunity offers. Under present conditions the political situation in this province is slowly retrograding, and the American sentiment is decreasing and we are daily making permanent enemies."

The Senate Committee on the Philippines on May 1, 1902, by a strict party vote, refused to subpoena Major Cornelius Gardener. Senator Patterson declared on the senate floor that the Philippine committee had decided, by a "partisan" vote to refuse to ask that Major Gardener be cabled to appear as soon as he could come to the United States. Senator Tillman argued that information was being "smothered."

Fifth Witness: General Arthur MacArthur, Jr.

Testified the week of April 13, 1902

MacArthur discussed the short war with the Spainards and the American cooperation with the Filipinos.

Sergeant Charles S. Riley

Testified on Monday, April 14, 1902

Riley, a Sergeant in the Twenty-sixth Regiment, Northampton, Massachusetts wrote home on November 25 1900:

Arriving at Igbaras at daylight, we found everything peaceful; but it shortly developed that we were really "treading on a volcano." The presidente (or chief), the priest, and another leading man were assembled, and put on the rack of inquiry. The presidente evaded some questions, and was soon bound and given the "water cure." This was done by throwing him on his back beneath a tank of water and running a stream into his mouth, a man kneading his stomach meanwhile to prevent his drowning. The ordeal proved a tongue-loosener, and the crafty old fellow soon begged for mercy and made full confession.... The presidente was asked for more information, and had to take a second dose of "water cure" before he would divulge.

He also stated that the town was burned to the ground.

Before the Senate Committee Riley testified, and his testimony was confirmed, that "the presidente was tied and placed on his back under a water-tank holding probably one hundred gallons."

The faucet was opened, and a stream of water was forced down or allowed to run down his throat. His throat was held so he could not prevent swallowing the water, so that he had to allow the water to run into his stomach. He was directly under the faucet, with his mouth held wide open. When he was filled with water, it was forced out of him by pressing a foot on his stomach or else with the hands"; and this continued "from five to fifteen minutes." A native interpreter stood directly over this man as he lay on the floor, and "kept saying some one word which I should judge meant 'confess' or 'answer.'"

When this unhappy man was taken down and asked more questions, he again refused to answer, and then was treated again.

Q. In front?

A. Yes, on the stone walk. They started to take him inside the building, and Captain Glenn said, "Don't take him inside. Right here is good enough." One of the men of the Eighteenth Infantry went to his saddle and took a syringe from the saddlebag, and another man was sent for a can of water, what we call a kerosene can, holding about five gallons. He brought this can of water down from upstairs, and then a syringe was inserted one end in the water and the other end in his mouth. This time he was not bound, but he was held by four or five men and the water was forced into his mouth from the can, through the syringe.

Question by Senator Burrows:

Q. Was this another party?

A. No, this was the same man. The syringe did not seem to have the desired effect, and the doctor ordered a second one. The man got a second syringe, and that was inserted in his nose. Then the doctor (Dr. Lyons, an American) ordered some salt, and a handful of salt was procured and thrown into the water. Two syringes were then in operation. The interpreter stood over him in the meantime asking for this second information that was desired. Finally, he gave in and gave the information that they sought, and then he was allowed to rise.

Private William L Smith

Testified on Monday, April 14, 1902

"Another witness, William L. Smith of Athol, Massachusetts, who was a private in Company M, Twenty-sixth Volunteer Infantry, corroborated Mr. Riley's testimony. He also said that he had assisted in the burning of the town of Igbaras, and that the natives generally escaped from their houses only with the clothes they wore."

"Mr. Smith expressed the opinion that Igbaras had a population of 10,000. So far as he knew, no lives were lost."

Sergeant Edward J. Davis

Testified on Thursday, April 17, 1902

"Edward J. Davis of Greenfield, Massachusetts, who was a Sergeant in Company M, Twenty-sixth Volunteer Infantry, was before the Senate Committee on the Philippines today. He was present in the convent at Igbaras November 27, 1900, when the "water cure" was administered to the Presidente of the town of Igbaras, as testified to by Sergeant Riley and Private Smith."

"The man was, he said, about forty years of age. When he was taken in to the convent he was asked to give information as to whether runners had been sent out to notify the insurgents of the arrival of the scouts in the town. When he refused to do this the water detail, consisting of two privates of the Eighteenth Infantry, was ordered by Captain Glenn to strip him. The man's clothing was removed above the waist and his hands tied behind him when the cure was administered."

"Mr. Davis said in reply to questions as to the physical effect of the process that the man "squealed" terribly and that his eyes were bloodshot, but that the next day he was able to mount his horse and lead the scouts to the mountain."

"The witness also repeated the statement that two police officers of the town of Igbaras had been subjected to the water cure. A native schoolteacher, he said, was taken into one of the back rooms of the convent by Dr. Lyons, who secured the information he wanted by placing two colt revolvers to his head."

"Mr. Davis also gave the details of the burning, by order of Captain Glenn, of the town of Igbaras, which he said contained about 10,000 people but no business places. All except about fifteen houses were destroyed, and men, women, and children were forced out indiscriminately. The witness also said that a neighboring town containing about 12,000 people had been burned, but that he did not know who had given the order for the destruction."

"After Mr. Davis was excused."

Committee refuses to call several witnesses

Thursday, April 17, 1902

Senator Rawlings submitted the following names as those of men whom he thought it was necessary to call:

The committee postponed action on April 17.

On May 1st, by a strict party vote, the committee refused to subpoena Major Cornelius Gardener, Emilio Aguinaldo, Sixto Lopez, and Mabini. The question of sending a sub-committee to the Philippines to continue the investigation was passed over.

Lieutenant Grover Flint

Testified on Monday, April 21, 1902

Grover Flint served as First Lieutenant in the Thirty-fifth Volunteer Infantry.

"Flint testified that early in May, 1900, he had been a witness to the water cure, as administered to the natives by the Macabebe scouts. The following day some men of this own regiment applied the cure."

"Flint had been, he said, a witness to at least twenty cases of water cure. He never had seen any one die as a result of the cure, but had seen a hospital corps man working on a native who had been rendered unconscious. It also had been reported to him that one Filipino died from the effects of the water cure. The witness then described the method of administering the cure, and said that in some cases where it was given to old men he had seen their teeth fall out."

"Answering a question by Senator Burrows, the witness declared that the effect of the cure was immediate. The “cure” he said, never got to the point of great brutality."

"Replying to a question by Senator Lodge, the witness said that he had been refused a commission in the regular army because his Colonel had reported him as using intoxicating liquors to excess."

"After considerable questioning he finally admitted that he approved of the water cure, and said that it was not an American invention. The witness described the burning of small villages, the idea being, he said, to drive the people to the woods or to the towns to concentrate them."

Committee refuses to call Edward Atkinson

Monday, April 21, 1902

"The committee in executive session refused to call Edward Atkinson of Boston as a witness."

Report by Women's Christian Temperance Union

Monday, April 21, 1902 "Senator Lodge laid before the committee a report by A. Hazlett, who was sent to the Philippines by the Women's Christian Temperance Union of Columbus, Wis. It shows that the moral condition of the islands is better than ever since American occupation and that there were no violations of anti-canteen laws."

General Arthur MacArthur (2nd time testifying)

Testified on April 29, April 30, May 1, May 2

MacArthur took responsibility for the deception used to capture Emilio Aguinaldo, "I am responsible in that matter in every way and particular. It was one of the deceptions frequently practiced in war, and whatever deception attached thereto, I take." The plan was Gen. Funston's he said, and he (MacArthur) assumed the responsibility of approving it. At no time, said Gen. MacArthur, did he violate the rules of civilized warfare.

MacArthur disclaimed any responsibility for the orders of Gen. Jacob H. Smith to make Samar a howling wilderness.

MacArthur said that absolute chaos would result should the Filipinos be given complete independence and the United States entirely withdraw from the islands. Aguinaldo also had told him it would be impossible at this stage of their evolution for his own people to establish a stable independent Government. He said Aguinaldo was at the time of the conversation a "qualified prisoner," but that there was no coercion or duress resorted to extract the statement.

In regards to the death toll in the Philippines, he said, "The destruction is simply incident to war, and of course embraces a very small percentage of the total population, which is dense."

"Thirty-three and a third percent, in one province," remarked Senator Patterson.

Gen. MacArthur spoke of the capture of papers from high Filipino officials in which the information was contained that, if President McKinley should be re-elected, the insurgents would surrender to the authority of the United States.

"Safe" list of soldiers backfires

Anti-imperialist democrats on the committee began to press Lodge to call as witnesses Emilio Aguinaldo, etc. (see Committee refuses to call "Oriental" witnesses above) But Lodge instead subpoenaed veterans for a "safe" list supplied by Secretary of War Elihu Root. But the ploy backfired when these ex-soldiers began to lecture the committee on the necessity of shooting and burning all Filipinos because of their "inability to appreciate human kindness."

Sergeant Hallock

Testified on May 4

L. E. Hallock of Boston, Massachusetts, formerly a Sergeant and later a private in Company I, Twenty-sixth Volunteer Infantry, testified concerning the practice of the water cure in the Philippines.

He told of the infliction of the cure upon a dozen natives at the town of Leon, Province of Panay. He said they were captured and tortured in order to secure information of the murder of Private O'Herne of Company I, who had been not only killed, but roasted and otherwise tortured before death ensued. Capt. Glenn, in charge of a scouting party, had first secured a confession of participation in this crime by one native who had implicated twelve others. These were, the witness said, taken to Leon, where his company, under command of Capt. Gregg, was stationed, and there on the 21st and again on the 23d of August, 1000, the cure was administered by members of Company I under the orders of First Sergeant Januarius Manning.

Hallock added that he had witnessed that while it was in progress Capt. Gregg was at company headquarters, less than 100 yards distant.

"Did Capt. Gregg known of the torture?" Senator Rawlins asked.

"All the command knew it, and I don't see how he could have helped knowing it."

"What was the effect of the punishment?"

"The stomach would swell up, and in some cases I witnessed blood come from the mouth."

Asked what became of the Philippine prisoners to whom the cure was administered, he replied that they were placed in a guardhouse 20 by 25 feet in size, in which there was one window, and in which there were at times eighteen men confined. The twelve prisoners were kept for four or five months, and then they tried to escape. That effort had been successful on the part of some of them, but five or six fleeing prisoners were shot and killed. One of them had been killed while trying to get away when the squad was taken to the river for a bath, and the others when out at work, in a general rush for liberty.

"Were all the prisoners who did not escape killed?"

"I think so, with one exception; I think one was given his freedom."

Senator Lodge brought out the details of the murder of Private O'Herne. The witness said that in June 1900, O'Herne, with two other members of the company, had been sent to Iloilo for mail, and that on their return, on June 30, they were ambushed by 100 natives, and O'Herne's companions captured. O'Herne had made a dash to get away, and after escaping from the attacking party, had fallen in with other natives supposed to be friendly, but that instead of proving to be so they had devoted the entire next day to his torture and death, beginning at daylight by cutting him with bolos and then roasting him all day by a slow fire, not finishing up until night. All these details had, the witness said, been gathered from the confessions of the men to whom they had given the cure.

Replying to other questions, he said he had not known any one to die under the water cure.

Mr. Hallock said he had seen the bodies of four of the native prisoners who had been shot by the soldiers while trying to make their escape, but that he had not seen the actual shooting.

Private William J. Gibbs

Testified on May 10

Private William J. Gibbs of the Ninth Infantry today continued his testimony before the Senate Committee on the Philippines. He was questioned by Senator Patterson concerning the cleaning of the town of Balangiga previous to the massacre there. He said that seventy-five natives brought from the mountains for that purpose were ordered into the tents in which they were confined.

The witness said he had never seen the water cure administered, but had seen preparations made for it and had heard groans coming from the victim. He also had known of one instance in which a man had died under its infliction.

"I did not see him die," said the witness, " but I saw his funeral, and it was the general understanding among the soldiers that death was the result of the administration of the cure."

"Was it understood that the administration of the water cure was usual or common?"

"It was."

"Who usually administered the cure?"

"Generally the interpreters or scouts."

"What kind of water was generally used?"

"Usually dirty water was preferred to clean water. The men would go out from the shore and get a mixture of salt water and sand and administer it."

"Why was that done?"

"In order to make the punishment more severe."

George C. Boardman

Testified on May 10

Formerly of the Twentieth Infantry, regulars.

Boardman said he once witnessed the administration of the water cure. The victim said nothing of value, except to give the name of another man who had told where there were seventeen guns hidden.

Boardman explained how a native boy was murdered by the natives who had accused him of having deserted their cause and of joining the Americans.

Boardman also said natives with guns would fire at the soldiers. The natives would approach and conceal their weapons and greet the Americans pleasantly.

Once a Philippine party had been taken into custody. The gun concealment location was acquired by taking the men one at a time to the rear of the building threatening them with death and then firing a gun within hearing of the entire party. None of them was hurt, but a confession was secured.

Captain Lee Hall

Testified on May 15

Formerly of the Thirty-third "Volunteer Infantry". He was in command of a company of Macabebe scouts. He said these were deadly enemies of the Tagalogs. He had heard of instances of the water cure, but saw none. The water cure, he thought, was no worse in its effect than the native wine. The Filipino prisoners were treated as well as American soldiers, except that they were made to work. He said the Filipino was not ready for self-government.

Hall said that one Macabebe Sergeant whom he had sent out in search of guns had told him that he procured them by the use of the "water cure." His method was to use a buffalo horn as a funnel through which to administer water. When this incident was reported to Col. Wilder, in charge of the scouts, the Colonel had said that he did not want to hear any more about it. As for himself, he gave no orders to cease the water-cure practice. The witness was quite sure that this was a native, and not an American, invention for securing confessions.

Hall told of a conversation he had had with Gen. Lawton in which the General had said that the natives should be treated considerately because "by and by they would be our people."

Capt. Hall said he had known of cases of cruelty on the part of the Filipinos toward American prisoners, but that this practice had been largely discontinued by the natives toward the latter part of his stay in the Philippines.

Ex-corporal Richard Thomas O'Brien

Testified on May 19, 21

"O'Brien said that he had been present at Igbaras when the water cure was administered to the Presidente (or chief) of that town. "There was a Spanish woman in town--a woman of education--who was attacked by the American officers." The witness said he could not give the names of the officers, adding that he had not witnessed the incident, but that the woman's husband was his authority for the statement."

"Senators Rawlins and Paterson objected to the testimony as mere hearsay, and urged that it would not go into the record. The witness then was asked if he could not give further proof of the correctness of his charge. In response he related another instance of disorderly conduct, which, he said, had come under his own observation. This occurred at San Joaquin, the Presidente of which place gave a reception to which a number of native women were invited from Iloilo. “They were above the average—not peasant women.” The witness said that three officers, whose names he gave, became intoxicated, and while in that condition threw off all their clothes except their undershirts and their trousers, and catching the woman about the waits insisted on their waltzing with them, much to the disgust of the women."

"Further questioning brought out the fact that O’Brien had not been on good terms with one of the officers whose conduct on this occasion he found blameworthy."

"O’Brien said there was a price put on the head of Captain McDonald of Company M by the insurgents because of the officer’s cruelties. Witness claimed that he had seen Captain McDonald strike a Filipino prisoner over the head with a revolver, and said the water cure was administered to the same prisoner after he had taken the oath of allegiance."

"O’Brien then related the particulars of the capture of the town Lo Nag, in the province of Panay, by a detachment from a company of which he was a member. As the troops approached the town they saw at a distance a native boy on a caribou and one of the men fired a shot at him, but as his bullet failed to this its object others also fired, himself included. At first the witness he had fired in obedience to orders and then said that there had been no orders to fire. “I can’t tell why I fired.” He added, when pressed: “all fired.” “this shooting brought the people to their doors and among those who came out was an old man, who was shot in the abdomen and afterward died. Later, while the firing was in progress, two other old men between the ages of fifty and seventy, I should say, cam out toward us hand in hand and bearing a white flag. Both were shot down and the Sergrant reported to Captain McDonald that he had killed two more “niggers.” Another case was that of a woman and two children, one in her arms, who were killed and then burned up in their house.”"

"O’Brien said that when the company was out marching single file at night in the mountains the order came back along the line to take no prisoners, but he did not know who issued the order. In case there was fighting the native either fled or were killed."

"The witness also told of the execution of the bandit Pedro Gagmo at the town of Guimal, for which, he said, McDonald was tried by court-martial. He said it was common talk that before Gargamo was killed he was struck on the back of the head with a bolo."

"The witness said it was an “unwritten law out there to take no prisoners.” He said “dum dum” bullets were issued in the regular way with other ammunition. He had seen them strike a man and take the top of this head off."

"He spoke of some articles that he had written for the papers, but said he wanted it understood that he was not under oath when he wrote them. In answer to Senator McComas, he said that his company occasionally took prisoners that we not killed. He had seen many prisoners held by other commands and they were all being treated kindly and were not being shot or killed. He admitted that the killing to the prisoners was not general. The killing of prisoners was a matter “that lay with the officers.”"

"Answering Senator Dietrich, he said that his command usually treated the Filipinos kindly.",

* People in Waterford History - 20th Century
* Richard Garrick

General William Crozier

Army's chief of ordinance

Crozier denied that the shell casings presented by Corporal Richard T. O'Brien could have housed “dum dum” bullets, however possible it was to come to such a conclusion simply by looking at the casings. No senator challenged him.

* William Crozier Major General, United States Army
* William Crozier (1855–1942) Westpoint Class of 1876

Bishop James M. Thoburn

Testified on May 22, 23, 1902

Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church of India and Malaysia.

Thorburn said American occupation of the Philippines was an act of God.

Senator Beveridge asked him for his opinion of the capacity of the Malay for self-government. "I think they are very defective," he replied. " It would be a crime, in my opinion, to remove the present American restraints in the Philippines."

Thorburn was examined about the rights of the United States to dominate the Philippine Islands. He said that chaos would result if England were to withdraw from India. England had advanced civilization in the Far East. Hong Kong and other places were, made great points of commerce. Hong Kong was, he said, better governed than Chicago and human life was safer there than in Chicago.

Ex-Captain Fred McDonald

Testified May 26, 27

Ex-Capt. Fred McDonald of the Twenty-sixth Volunteer Infantry from Charlestown, Massachusetts was one of the officers accused in Corp. O'Brien's testimony.

He denied all of the allegations made by O'Brien, and said O'Brien was on duty elsewhere at the times he claimed to have been present. McDonald said that American officers had not maltreated a Spanish woman nor other women, to his knowledge. He also denied the statement made by O'Brien that he (McDonald) and a number of other officers misbehaved themselves at a native dance. He showed that at the time alleged Major Cook, one of the officers named, and himself were on duty elsewhere. The shooting of bearers of flags of truce and the burning of a woman and child by his command was another story by O'Brien that he denied. McDonald Produced documents to refute the testimony of Corporal O'Brien, showing he was on duty in different areas where he testified he was.

McDonald said O'Brien was a troublesome soldier from the first.

McDonald also said that he would rather shoot than strike an unruly prisoner.

Colonel Arthur L. Wagner

Testified on May 30, 31

Wagner was in effect the army's chief public relations officer. Wagner spent two and one-half years in the Philippines.

Concentration camps

Wagner was questioned about the concentration camps, and described the system by explaining the details of one particular camp. In that camp, the people were assembled according to villages, so that the people in all cases would have their old neighbors near them. So far as he had been able to observe, there was no evidence of want among the people there congregated. Moreover, they were surprisingly contented. Such camps, he insisted, were created to "protect friendly natives from the insurgents" and to "assure them an adequate food supply," while also teaching them "proper sanitary standards."

They were at liberty to go outside the line from 300 to 800 yards. Beyond that distance was what was called the dead line, beyond which the people were not permitted to go.

Wagner continued that the natives were given to understand that if they crossed this dead line they would be shot, but in reality the orders were not to shoot any helpless persons, or any others if the shooting could be avoided.

Colonel Wagner said that one of the principal purposes of concentrating the native people in the Philippines was to protect them against the Ladrones, which had been admirably accomplished. Another object of the camps had been that of facilitating the collection of the rice supplies in order to starve out the Ladrones and guerrillas. The result had been that hostile parties had practically disappeared and their leader, Malvar, had been captured. The policy had been necessary to "protect life and property, and he did not see how any other policy could have been successful.

The witness said the people were fed and given medical supplies, and the sanitation of the camps was looked after. The American camps in the Philippines no more could be compared to Valeriano Weyler's reconcentrado camps in Cuba than mercy could be compared to cruelty.

All the people congregated had now returned to their homes, and on the Fourth of July the provinces of Batangas and Laguna were to be restored to civil rule.

Over loud Republican protests, Senator Culberson began to read a letter from one of J. Franklin Bell's officers, which had been quoted in the Senate by Mr. Bacon, in which the officer described a concentration camp as a "suburb of hell." The chair ruled that unless the senator identified the author, who had asked to remain anonymous, it was "hearsay evidence" and directed the witness not to comment on it. But Culberson had already read part of the letter:

What a farce it all is . . . this little spot of black sogginess is a reconcentrado pen, with a dead line outside, beyond which everything living is shot...Upon arrival, I found 30 cases of smallpox, and average fresh ones of five a day, which practically have to be turned out to die. At nightfall crowds of huge vampire bats softly swirl out of their orgies over the dead. Mosquitos work in relays. This corpse-carcass stench wafts in and combined with some lovely municipal odors besides makes it slightly unpleasant here.

"Did you ever visit that camp?" the Senator inquired.

"No, I did not," replied the witness, "nor do I believe that any such camp ever existed."

Wagner said he had never visited the Province of Tayabas, of which province Major Cornelius Gardener was Civil Governor, but that as Adjutant General he was familiar with conditions there and knew of nothing improper.

Wagner felt to Gen. J. Franklin Bell as a humane officer. He said the conduct of Americans in the Philippines had been uniformly kind to the native prisoners.

Wagner said that in the provinces commanded by Gen. Bell about 100,000 people were gathered in the concentration camps. Their property left outside the camps was confiscated and the wealthy people lost heavily.

Wagner conceded that in one camp "about two miles long and one mile wide" live 8,000 Filipinos. By simple calculation, the critics pointed out that there was only a twelve-by-six foot area for each inhabitant. Wagner admitted that one church housed 127 females, a large house held 270 makes, and a simple nipa hut designed for one family sheltered 40 people, but there were only "sleeping arrangements" and during the day the Filippinos had "complete personal freedom" up to the "dead line."

Beveridge interrupted to inquire why it was not called "a life line" since it served to "protect our friends." Wagner agreed.

Torture of Filipinos and war crimes

Col. Wagner said he had no personal knowledge of the tortures of the natives in the Philippines, but he gave several instances in which he had heard reports of torture. In most of these it was found on examination that the reports either were untrue or exaggerated.

Wagner said that he knew that one village had been burned because the citizens would not give information of the murderers of a native friendly to the United States.

After intense cross examination, Wagner agreed that some "innocents" had suffered in the Philippines, but he added that the same was true of every war and that it was an injustice as old as man. "The Almighty destroyed Sodom, notwithstanding the fact there were a few just people in that community." Beveridge then said, "I was thinking of that instance of Sodom and Gomorrah."

McDonald would rather shoot prisoners

Senator Deitrich related to the witness the statement made by Capt. McDonald that he would shoot rather than strike an unruly prisoner, and then asked Col. Wagner's opinion as to whether such a statement was justified. Col. Wagner said that "all would depend upon the nature of the order given to the prisoner and the degree of his disobedience." Shooting should not be resorted to unless necessary to keep a prisoner in custody.

(Break for two weeks)

Sergeant Mark H. Evans

Testified the morning of June 12, 1902

Mark H. Evans of Des Moines, Iowa, formerly a Sergeant of Company F, Thirty-second Volunteer Infantry

Evans testified about witnessing the "water cure" to Filipinos on four different occasions during his service in the islands. In one case the "cure" was administered by native scouts and in the others by an American soldier. During an expedition to neighboring islands the witness said that he had seen an American soldier take two suspected natives into the water and duck them. He secured a confession as to the hiding of guns in one case, but none in the other.

After the first case of ducking the victim seemed, the witness said, to have been quite disabled, being apparently so weak that he was unable to rise.

In another instance of the administration of the water cure in Crano, a tooth of the victim was knocked out.

Evans also talked about burning native villages. He said he had been present at the burning of four or five native villages, and that the destruction of those places had been due to the presence of insurgents.

The witness said the orders to the troops were to treat the natives humanely, and that with the exceptions noted their treatment had been in accord with these instructions. The natives had not shown any appreciation of this consideration.

Evans said all these events occurred during the year 1900, in the province of Batan, Island of Luzon, and in or near the town of Crano, where his headquarters were.

Lodge ended the testimony when Evans insisted that the Filipinos had to be exterminated.

Private Edward J. Norton

Testified the afternoon of June 12, 1902

Edward J. Norton of Los Angeles, former private in Company L, Eighteenth United States Infantry.

Norton served two years in the Island of Panay. He stated that except in isolated cases the treatment accorded the natives by United States soldiers "was humane and all that could be expected, or desired."

Norton told of an overheard story about the "water cure" to the Vice Presidente of San Miguel and a native policeman.

Norton described one occasion where he had assisted in "water-curing" a native. The man's mouth, he said, was forced open with a stick and the water poured down his throat. The effect of the treatment was temporary strangulation. In this particular case the native after receiving the cure delivered up a number of rifles and pistols.

(Break for two weeks)

Admiral George Dewey

Testified on June 26, 27, 28,, 1902

War critics on the committee pressed Dewey hard with questions relating to his betrayal of Emilio Aguinaldo's trust.

Beveridge's conclusions on the Lodge committee

Beveridge published a separate senate document, Senate Document 422, 57th Congress, 1st session.

According to historian Miller, Beveridge's senate document was a "deceitful cut and paste job...gleaning from the record anything that remotely supported his conclusion that he war was one of the most humane ones in history...[Beveridge felt that] the Lodge committee had destroyed the malicious fiction of "the slanders of the Army".

See also

Further reading

  • The Philippine "Lodge committee" hearings (A.K.A. Philippine Investigating Committee) and a great deal of documentation were published in three volumes as Senate Document 331, 57th Congress, 1st Session An abridged version of the oral testimony can be found in:Graff, Henry F (1969). American Imperialism and the Philippine Insurrection: Testimony Taken from Hearings on Affairs in the Philippine Islands before the Senate Committee on the Philippines--1902. Little, Brown. ASIN B0006BYNI8.
  • Secretary Root's Record:"Marked Severities" in Philippine Warfare. Listing many of the atrocities and the military and government reaction.
  • Wolff, Leon (1961). Little Brown Brother: How the United States purchased and pacified the Philippine Islands at the Century's Turn. Doubleday. ASIN: B0006AWZ6Q.

External links

Footnotes

  1. Lodge Committee testimony from the New York Times#More Talk of Filipinos New York Times Feb 13, 1902. p. 3
  2. Lodge Committee testimony from the New York Times#Gov. Taft Talks before Philippine Committee New York Times, February 1, 1902, p. 3
  3. Miller, Stuart Creighton (1982). "Benevolent Assimilation" The American Conquest of the Philippines, 1899-1903. Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-02697-8. p. 245 "By this time, the hearing was in shambles, and when the ruffled naval hero (Dewey) stepped down on June 28, Beveridge, on instructions from Lodge, adjourned the committee for good. Apparently there was no protest from the opposition. A petition from five leading anti-imperialists calling for an ad hoc congressional committee to go to the Philippines and investigate conditions there was ignored. Beveridge had the last word in the "investigation" by gleaning from the record anything that remotely supported his conclusion that the war was one of the most humane ones in history and then publishing this deceitful cut-and-paste job as a separate senate document. (S. Doc. 422, 57th Congress., 1st Session) As far as Beveridge was concerned, the Lodge committee had destroyed the malicious fiction of "the slanderers of the Army."
  4. Wolff, Leon (1961). Little Brown Brother: How the United States purchased and pacified the Philippine Islands at the Century's Turn. Doubleday. ASIN: B0006AWZ6Q., p. 307
  5. Painting the Philippines with an American Brush Visions of Race and National Mission among the Oregon Volunteers in the Philippine Wars of 1898 and 1899 Oregon History Quarterly; Vol 104 No. 1, Spring 2003
  6. Found in the Lodge Committee documents, S. Doc 166, p. 2
  7. Lodge Committee testimony from the New York Times#Philippine Problem before the Senate New York Times, January 15, 1902, p. 3
  8. Miller p. 212
  9. Miller p. 213-214: "(This testimony) almost coincided with the publication of a soldier's letter boasting that the writer had used the water cure on 160 Filipinos, all of whom save twenty-six died from the ordeal. The army quickly extracted denials from the writer and his superiors." Benjamin O. Flowers, "Some Dead Sea Fruit of Our War of Subjugation," Arena 27 (1902): 647-53; (Philadelphia) City and State, Jan. 2, 1902; San Francisco Call, Jan. 3, Feb. 19, 20, 1902; New York Times, Feb. 25, 1902; S. Doc 311, part 1, p. 558-562; S. Doc. 205, 57th Congress, 1st session, page 3-4.
  10. George Percival Scriven: An American in Bohol, The Philippines, 1899-1901
  11. Lodge Committee testimony from the New York Times#Gen. Hughes's Retort New York Times March 6, 1902. p. 9
  12. Lodge Committee testimony from the New York Times#Sharp Responses Made In Philippine Inquiry New York Times March 7, 1902. p. 3
  13. Lodge Committee testimony from the New York Times#Gen. Hughes in Tilt With Senator Patterson New York Times March 9, 1902. p. 4
  14. Lodge Committee testimony from the New York Times#Gen. Hughes's Testimony New York Times March 12, 1902. p. 2
  15. S. Doc 311, part 1, p. 679-728; Miller p. 216
  16. Lodge Committee testimony from the New York Times#Testimony of Gen. Otis New York Times March 20, 1902. p. 3
  17. Lodge Committee testimony from the New York Times#Questions for Gen. Otis New York Times March 21, 1902. p. 3
  18. S. Doc 311, part 1, p. 729-848; Miller p. 216: "The San Francisco Call hooted that once again Otis could have saved himself some embarrassment by simply glancing at the newspapers before testifying. Another successful Filipino ambush had been reported that very morning, and yet another letter from a soldier bragging of torturing and shooting prisoners was making the journalistic rounds." San Francisco Call March 18, 19, 20, 21
  19. Miller p. 216
  20. Lodge Committee testimony from the New York Times#Told Of "Water Cure" Given To Filipinos New York Times, Feb. 25, 1902, p. 3: "Mr. Riley said that he had been in the Philippines from Oct. 25, 1899 to March 4, 1901."
  21. Lodge Committee testimony from the New York Times#Saw The "Water Cure" Given New York Times, April 17, 1902, p. 3
  22. "The Philippine Inquiry Senate Minority Want Major Gardener Summoned from Manila Resolution Presented After the Investigating Committee Declined to Call Him--Charges that Information is "Smothered."". New York Times 3.
  23. Lodge Committee testimony from the New York Times#Testified on "Water Cure” New York Times, April 22, 1902, p. 2
  24. Miller p. 232
  25. Lodge Committee testimony from the New York Times#Friction in PhilippinesNew York Times, April 11, 1902. p. 3; Miller, footnotes pg. 303 "Lodge refused to subpoena Major Gardener on the grounds that his "allegations were not properly sustained ," according to the San Francisco Call, May 2, 1902."
  26. Lodge Committee testimony from the New York Times#Gen. Macarthur's Story New York Times April 13, 1902. p. 8
  27. Miller p. 301, note 31
  28. Secretary Root's Record:"Marked Severities" in Philippine Warfare; Miller p. 218
  29. Lodge Committee testimony from the New York Times#Gen. Macarthur Testifies New York Times April 30, 1902. p. 8
  30. Lodge Committee testimony from the New York Times#Will Not Call Maj. Gardener New York Times May 1, 1902. p. 3
  31. Lodge Committee testimony from the New York Times#Gen. Macarthur's Testimony New York Times May 2, 1902. p. 3
  32. Lodge Committee testimony from the New York Times#The Philippine Inquiry New York Times May 3, 1902. p. 3
  33. Miller p. 239
  34. Miller p. 241
  35. Lodge Committee testimony from the New York Times#The Water Cure Described New York Times May 4, 1902. p. 13
  36. Lodge Committee testimony from the New York Times#One "Water Cure" Victim New York Times May 11, 1902. p. 5
  37. Lodge Committee testimony from the New York Times#"Water Cure" and Wine New York Times May 16, 1902. p. 5
  38. Lodge Committee testimony from the New York Times#Cruelty in Philippines 2 New York Times May 20, 1902. p. 3
  39. Lodge Committee testimony from the New York Times#The Philippine Inquiry 2 New York Times May 22, 1902. p. 8
  40. Lodge Committee testimony from the New York Times#To Prosecute Witness O'Brien. New York Times May 29, 1902. p. 2; Lodge Committee testimony from the New York Times#Perjury In Senate HearingPerjury New York Times Aug 7, 1902. p. 2; Lodge Committee testimony from the New York Times#Case of Corp. O'Brien New York Times August 8, 1902. p. 3; Lodge Committee testimony from the New York Times#Corporal O'Brien Held New York Times August 10, 1902. p. 5
  41. Miller p. 241
  42. Miller p. 241
  43. Lodge Committee testimony from the New York Times#Bishop on the Philippines New York Times May 23, 1902. p. 3
  44. Lodge Committee testimony from the New York Times#Bishop Thoburn Testifies New York Times May 24, 1902. p. 8
  45. Miller p. 241-242
  46. Lodge Committee testimony from the New York Times#Denies Any Misconduct New York Times May 27, 1902. p. 3;
  47. Lodge Committee testimony from the New York Times#The Philippine Inquiry 3 New York Times May 28, 1902. p. 8
  48. Miller p. 243
  49. Lodge Committee testimony from the New York Times#The Concentration Camps New York Times May 30, 1902. p. 3
  50. Lodge Committee testimony from the New York Times#Says A Village Was Burned New York Times June 1, 1902. p. 5
  51. Miller p. 243, Senate Document 331, page 2846-2853, 2857-2859, 2877-2878, San Francisco Call, May 2, 1902.
  52. Lodge Committee testimony from the New York Times#Tell of "Water Cure" Cases New York Times June 13, 1902. p. 3
  53. Miller p. 244, Miller states that Evans was "carefully coached".
  54. Lodge Committee testimony from the New York Times#Admiral Dewey Testifies New York Times Jun 27, 1902. p. 8
  55. Lodge Committee testimony from the New York Times#Aguinaldo All For Gain New York Times Jun 28, 1902. p. 5
  56. Lodge Committee testimony from the New York Times#Admiral Dewey Continues His Testimony New York Times Jun 29, 1902. p. 13
  57. Lodge Committee testimony from the New York Times#Admiral Dewey on the Filipinos New York Times Jun 29, 1902. p. 8
  58. Miller p. 244
  59. Miller p. 245

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