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The Philippine-American War Documents

Agoncillo's Memorial to the U.S. Senate
Addressed to the U.S. Secretary of State

January 24, 1899


  1. I respectfully submit that the United States, not having received from the inhabitants of the Philippine Islands authority to pass laws affecting them, its legislation as to their welfare possesses no binding force upon my people.
  2. American authorites herein cited demonstrate that the Philippine Revolution was nver more threatening that immediately before the breaking out of the Spanish-American War, five thousand revolutionists having been encamped near Manila three weeks before the American declaration of war, this army acting under the direction of General Aguinaldo (though he was personally absent), in whom the consular representatives of the United States reposed the highest confidence.
  3. The purpose of the revolution was to secure independence, and, understanding this, the United States encouraged the revolutionists to believe their desires would attain fuition. this is shown by citations from the archives of the State Department and by the incidents above related.
  4. The Philippine Republic was entitled to recognition from the United States as an independent nation before the signing of the protocol with Spain, that Government knowing that Philippine independence had been proclaimed in June, a Government de facto and de jure established, laws promulgated, and Spain's further domination impossible, being acquainted with all these facts immediately upon their happening, through documents and written reports submitted to the United States by its officers.
  5. The American Government for months has had in its possession, as herein shown, evidence of the actual independence of the Filipinos.
  6. Spain could not deliver possession of the Philippines to the United States, she having been ousted by their people, and in fact at the present moment the United States holds only and entrenched camp, controlling one hundred and forty-three square miles, with 300,000 people, while the Philippine Republic represents the destinies of nearly 10,000,000 souls, scattered over an area approaching 200,000 square miles.
  7. Spain having no possession (except minor garrison posts), and no right of possession in the Philippines, could confer no right to control them.
  8. American purchase of public buildings, etc., in the Philippine Islands was ineffective , because the Islands, having been lost by Spain to the Philippine Reublic, the last-named Government had already by conquest acquired public property.
  9. Secretaries of State of your country (including Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Pinckney) have denied the right of an ally of Ameirca to acquire by conquest from Great Britain any American territory while America was struggling for independence. The United States Supreme Court has sustained this view. We deny similarly the right of the United States to acquire Philippine territory by cession from Spain while the Filipinos were yet at war with that power.

Source of Treaty Texts: The Statutes At Large of the United States of America from March 1897 to March 1899 and Recent Treaties, Conventions, Executive Proclamations, and The Concurrent Resolutions of the Two Houses of Congress, Volume XXX, published by the U.S. Government Printing Office, 1899. Copy courtesy of the U.S. Library of Congress, Asian Division.


Document copy researched by Madge Kho of Somerville, MA

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