Edward Atkinson.

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u Whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap."


15 V





Sixth Edition, Making Nine Thousand Folk Hundred Copies.

[Funds are wanted for printing, stamping, and mailing future editions of this
pamphlet. Price per hundred, two dollars, with express charges. Price per hundred,
wrapped, stamped and mailed, four dollars.

Funds are also wanted for printing, stamping, and mailing my first pamphlet, tl I.
The Cost of a National Crime. II. The Hell of War and its Penalties," at the same

Mailing lists are desired. Remit for single copies of both pamphlets, with postage,
six cents in postage stamps.

Address Edward Atkinson, Box 112, Boston, Mass.]


The Commercial Aspect.

The remarks of Benjamin Franklin upon the burning of the coast towns of the
American Colonies in the War of the Revolution may be read in connection with the
burning and destruction of towns and cities in the Philippine Islands :

'• Britain must certainly be distracted. No tradesman out of Bedlam ever thought
of increasing the number of his customers by knocking them on the head, or of
enabling them to pay their debts by burning their houses."

Missionary Aspect.
The attention of the clergy and of others who advocate the enforcement of Chris-
tianity at the point of the bayonet is called to the following extract from a letter of a
correspondent of the " Evening Post " :

The country between Marilao and Manila present* a picture of desolation. Smoke is curling
from hundreds of ash heaps, and the remains of trees and fences torn by shrapnel are to be seen every-
where. The general appearance of the country is as if it had been swept by a cyclone. The roads are
strewn with furniture and clothing dropped in (light by the Filipinos. The only persons remaining
behind are a few aged persons, too intirm to escape. They camp beside the ruins of their former homes
and beg passers-by for any kind of assistance. The majority of them are living on the generosity of our
soldiers, who give them portions of their rations. The dogs of the Filipinos cower iu the bushes, still
terrified and barking, while hundreds of pigs are to be seen busily searching for food.

Bodies of dead Filipinos are stranded in the shallows of the river, or are lying in the jungle
where they crawled to die, or were left in the wake of the hurriedly retreating army. These bodies give
forth a horrible stench, but there is no time now to bury them.

The inhabitants who tied from Marilao and Meycauayan left in such a panic that on the tables
our soldiers found money and valuables, and iu the rooms were trunks containing property of value.
This was the case in most of the houses deserted. They were not molested by our soldiers, but the
Chinese, who slip in between the armies, are looting when they can, and have taken possession of sev-
eral houses, over which they raised Chinese Hags, some of which were afterwards torn down.

An old woman was found hidden in a house at Meycauayan yesterday, just dead, apparently
from fright and hunger.

The old woman named in the last paragraph may be cited as one converted in tins
missionary enterprise.

Sanitary Aspect.

General Otis reports that only eight to nine per cent, of the army was in hospital
or on the sick list in March, before the hot season or the aggressive campaign had
been entered upon. Only ! The navy has lent several naval surgeons to the army to
assist in the care of the sick and wounded. The medical authorities have ordered that
all soldiers attacked with dysentery and rheumatism, two of the most common causes
of disease in the tropics, must be immediately removed from the Philippine Islands, as
they cannot be cured in that climate.

Nine per cent, on 40,000 comes to " only " 3,000 sick, to whom may be added over
1,000 wounded. When the hot and- then the wet season, the malarial air of the jungle,
and the bail water outside of camp begin to exert their malignant influence, how many
will then become the victims of the criminal aggression now being directed by Presi-
dent McKitdey, who, having asserted that the responsibility rests with Congress and
with the American people, now fails to call Congress together, and continues the car-
nage of the Filipinos and the ghastly sacrifice of American soldiers in a bad cause to
them repulsive, on his sole responsibility.

Repulsivk and Ghastly Aspect of Burning and Slaughter.

Private letters from officers and their wives, from which extracts have been printed,
coupled with numerous private letters from volunteers in the army which cannot be
printed without danger to them, have fully disclosed the shocking atrocity now being
committed in the slaughter of the Filipinos. Their accounts of disease and death also
convey the truth to the people of this country, while the telegraph is not free, such
communications being under censorship.

It does not yet appear by whom the fighting was begun. It does appear, however,
in the latest reports, that the lines of the Philippine army were forced by troops of the
United States before any attack of any organized force had been made upon the lines of
our troops. How this happened may perhaps be explained by the following abstract
from a private letter from a very acute American observer now in Japan, which was
written after the army officers who had placed Aguinaldo in command of the Philippine
forces had been superseded by the general now in chief command :

" I left before actual fighting began, but I saw a condition of things that was as
much like war as it could be when war was not; and now the terrible result of the
ignorance, incompetence, and unhappy temperament of our Manila commander has
come. The Administration put the general in command in the way of emphasizing his
own unfortunate method of managing things. Chiefly is the American direction of affairs
at Manila to blame for the fact that the insurgents changed from friends to being our

Were this correspondent here his name would carry authority. Not being here I
cannot give it, but I vouch for his capacity as an observer.


Hkooki.ine, March 31,1899.




In November, 1898, a danger became dimly foreseen that this country
might be committed to acts of criminal aggression which the President had
denounced in April in his message to Congress giving the reasons why the
oppressive rule of Spain should be removed by force from the Island of Cuba.

Many persons who had believed and who still believe that the rule of Spain
could have been removed without resort to war, yet when war was declared °-ave
their support to the Government and their approval to every measure deemed
necessary to the conduct of the war.

A few distrusted the sincerity of the President and anticipated the evil events
that have ensued. The writer was not then one of those who shared in the dis-
trust of the Executive, although he feared the influence of those by whom he
then believed and still believes the President had been forced to a premature
and unseasonable exercise of force. Is there not sufficient proof of a combina-
tion organized for the purpose of criminal aggression which the President had
denounced, but to which he has for the time submitted ?

With the purpose of sustaining the President and to aid him in suppressing
these malignant influences the writer prepared two treatises upon

I. The Cost of a National Crime.
II. The Hell of War and its Penalties.

When the forecast of a deficienc}' of $150,000,000 in the next fiscal year was
first published in November the estimate was received with derision by thought-
less persons. Many times the writer was asked why the revenues of the tropical
islands falling into our possession on which Spain had battened should not suffice
to sustain their government.

The venal yellow press not only derided this estimate, but attempted to dis-
credit the writer by gibes and sneers which simply increased the contempt in
which such paf>ers are held.

How stands the case in February, 1899, four months later? The representa-
tives of the Government in the House of Representatives now forecast a deficiency
in the next fiscal year of much greater amount than the writer's guarded estimate,
while the deficiency of the present year will exceed the estimate of the Secretary
of the Treasury given in his annual report by at least forty per cent.

In order to sustain the President in avoiding criminal aggression, the writer
also secured from abroad the ghastly evidence of the penalties of the Hell of War
contained in the second treatise.

It is not a pleasant duty to prepare this third treatise showing how public
trust has been betrayed and by whom. It Avill again invoke obloquy and abuse,
but to any one who was bred in the time when resistance to the national crime of
slavery brought out similar abuse, and even personal danger, these attacks but
give support to the opponents of criminal aggression as they did fifty j^ears ao-o
to the agitation against slavery then represented by Garrison and Sumner, by
Giddings of Ohio and Hale of New Hampshire, by John Q.uincy Adams of Massa-

1 Note to Third Edition, March 30, 1899. — This warning was sufficient, and some of the
grossest measures of excessive appropriations were stopped. Whether the actual appropriations made
for the conduct of the war will suffice is very doubtful. Time only will suffice to determiue the fact.


chusetts, and by Seward of New York. These personal attacks are but evi-
dence of the tribute that unscrupulous and depraved men have always paid to
those who have defended the honor and integrity of the nation ; this tribute
was rendered to the men who redeemed it from the crime of slavery, so it
will be to the men who hope and expect now to redeem it from criminal

It was assumed that President McKinley would avail himself of the opportu-
nity given at the dinner of the Home Market Club to announce a positive policy.
Yet we find in that speech but two positive statements.

The first is in the following words: " Every present obligation has been met
and fulfilled in the expulsion of Spanish sovereignty from the islands." 1

The second declaration is in these terms : " Xo imperial designs lurk in the
American mind. They are alien to American sentiment, thought, and purpose."

In these words the President adopts the principles of the Anti-Imperialist
League and justifies all that has been done or said by that league. It becomes
necessary, however, to review the rest of the speech. Respect for the office of
President may not release the humblest citizens from the duty of bringing its
incumbent before the bar of public opinion when he transgresses. Having been
called upon to address a club of clergymen, I have recast my address to them in
this treatise, No. ;?, under the title, " Criminal Aggression, by Whom Com-
mitted ? "

Gentlemen : I was very glad to receive the invitation to address members of
the clergy in this emergency, for it seems to me that a duty has come upon the
clergy of this country corresponding to that which led to the protest of the three
thousand ministers against the crime of slavery a few years before the Civil War
ensued in which slavery destroyed itself.

We are in an emergency to-day as serious as that which then threatened
the life of this nation. The honor of this nation is now compromised by an
aggressive war of forcible annexation under the lead of a President who attained
the confidence of this country a short year since by declaring that he then spoke
not " of forcible annexation, for that, by our code of morality, would be criminal
aggression." 1 Have we changed our code? If not, who is responsible for the
criminal aggressions upon and the slaughter of the people of the Philippine
islands by thousands ?

I was reading last evening Trevelyan"s " History of the American Revolu-
tion, 11 and I came across this report. In one of the great debates of 1774 Stephen
Fox, the brother of Charles James Fox, speaking of the condition of affairs in
this country, said: " I rise, Sir, with an utter detestation and abhorrence of the
present measures. We are either to treat the Americans (read, if you please,
4 Filipinos ') as subjects or as l-ebels. If we treat them as subjects the bill goes
too far; if as rebels, it does not go far enough. We have refused to hear the
parties in their defence, and we are going to destroy their charter (read deprive
them of their rights) without knowing the constitution of their Government."
< !ould a closer parallel be brought between the conditions of 177-1 when we were
the rebels and the conditions of the Filipinos to-day in their resistance to the
effort to put a foreign rule upon them, in their refusal to be deprived of their
rights, and in their objection to accept the gospel of peace at the point of the bay-
onet with the slaughter of thousands under the rapid-fire guns ?

Now, I propose to deal with this question consecutively. We were driven
prematurely into a war which may have been necessary for the removal of Span-
ish oppression from the Island of Cuba. It is useless now to discuss the question
whether that war was necessaiy or not.


We entered into what one may at least declare was an unseasonable dec-
laration of war before we were prepared and at the time when the utmost
hazard of the tropical climate was upon us. But even if that war was inevitable
does any one suppose that the war would have occurred had Lincoln been Presi-
dent, who resisted even the moral purpose of this country for two years until he
knew the country would support him in emancipation ? Does any one suppose
that if lie had been the President of the United States any men of the char-
acter and quality of the jingo Senators could have foi'ced his hand? Does any
one suppose that Grant would have submitted to such dictation ? Does any one
suppose that if Cleveland had been there, even though he himself had declared
that it might become necessary to deal with Cuba by force, he would have
allowed his hand to be forced by the venal pressure of the yellow press and its
Senatorial emissaries to Cuba? Is it not our misfortune to have had in the chair
of the President of the United States a man of weak and uncertain purpose with-
out convictions and unequal to the emergency : who, having declared that an act
of aggression would be a national crime, has trilled with the question ? Did he
not in his recent apologetic speech before the Home Market Club seek to find a
way out of the evil conditions into which he has led the country by divesting
himself of the responsibility and trying to throw it all on the Congress of the
United States ? I think it is time to speak and to speak plainly. William
McKinley is the President of the United States. He was treated with respect in
Boston as the President of the United States, but it was a great misfortune that
even the members of the Home Market Club who utterly oppose expansion were
under such obligation that none were able, owing to the courtesy of the occasion,
to say one word in resistance to expansion or to the apparent policy of the Presi-
dent. Therefore the President may have returned under the impression that he
is sustained in acts of criminal aggression here in Boston when we know that the
moral sense of the community — the conscience of the community — is being
aroused day by day against the policy which he represents.

Let us look a little into the history of this matter.

In a speech, Dec. 15, 1898, when the President was swinging around the
circle, dealing with audiences from the rear end of a railway train and taking the
shouts of the crowd as an indication of public sentiment, he reached Atlanta,
and there he used these words :

" That flag has been planted in two hemispheres and there it remains, the
symbol of liberty and law, of peace and progress. Who will withdraw from the
people over whom it floats its protecting folds ? Who will pull it down ? "

If that is not a declaration of imperialism, what is it?

Who took down the flag in Mexico and gave back to the Mexicans the control
of their own affairs after we had made conquest of their country ? There is no
such word in the President's speech to the Home Market Club. Since the date of
the Atlanta speech he has had cause to change his tone. Under the brave lead of
our Senator Hoar, supported by Senators Jones, of Arkansas, and Caffery, of
Louisiana, and by many others too numerous to be named here, it has been made
apparent that neither the common sense nor the conscience of this country will
permit criminal aggression. We have failed in defeating cession under the
treaty because there were many true men who are with the opponents of ex-
pansion absolutely, who thought it best that the treaty should be sustained in
order that Spain might be divested of any further word to say on this matter.
The opponents of imperialism, of expansion, and of criminal aggression who
voted for the treaty joined with the opponents of the treaty are a majority of the
present Senate ; many of them feeling indignant because they have been forced


by the false conditions into which we had been la-ought by the President to
accept the treaty. Though there are grave dangers growing out of the accept-
ance of the cession of the Philippines, they are not insurmountable, and when
the will of the country is exerted, as it is now being manifested, the Executive
will be compelled to take the country out of the false position in which we now

Xow then, gentlemen, as to this speech of the President of the United States.
Is it not an adroit rhetorical evasion of the pending question ? Does it not show
that he is still waiting to find out what will be popular rather than what will be
right':' Or what will control the future politics of this country rather than what
will be for the true interest and honor of the nation ? When before in the history
of this country has a treaty been sent into the Senate of the United States by the
President without a message giving the views of the Executive, or the grounds
and reasons on which such a treaty should be sustained ? Was not that evasion
Number One ? Or rather, was it not one evasion among man}- ?

The President says : " Many who were impatient for the conflict a year ago,
apparently heedless of its larger results, are the first to cry out against the far-
reaching consequences of their own act.' 1 Against whom does he make that insinu-
ation ? Does he not attempt to put discredit, without naming them, upon Senators
who voted unwillingly for war, unwillingly for the treaty, and who are now try-
ing to avoid the evil consequences of the conditions in which he and his adminis-
tration have put them ?

Again the President says: "The evolution of events, which no man could
control, has brought these problems upon us. Certain it is that they have not
come through any fault on our own part. 11 Had there been a man with any
power of will to direct that evolution it would have been directed as human evo-
lution may always be — by mental energy, in the right and not in the wrong direc-
tion. It is easy to quote evolution in evasion of duty ; easy to talk about manifest
destiny to cover a crime. It is the weak man who says " I couldn't help it."

Again the President says: "In its prosecution and conclusion the great
majority of our countrymen of every section believed they were righting in a just
cause. 11 This it true ; they were fighting in the cause of liberty, and they had
confidence in the declaration of the President that to let the war go beyond the
restoration of liberty to an oppressed people would be an act of criminal aggres-

The President says: "The Philippines, like Cuba and Porto Rico, were
intrusted to our hands by the war, and to that great trust, under the providence
of God, and in the name of human progress and civilization, we are committed. 11
Intrusted to our hands ? By whom P How did we get possession of an area of
about ten square miles or less which was all there was in the possession of Spain
and which is all there is to-day in our possession ? We secured it because the
people trusted us. We found in the Philippine islands an organized army
which had driven the Spaniards from every part of the islands except one or two
cities where, through their navy, the Spaniards were enabled to sustain them-
selves. We called them to our aid, Admiral Dewey promoting the return of their
chosen leader, Aguinaldo, to take the command and aid in the removal of the
oppression of Spain from that little corner which was all that was not then in the
possession of the inhabitants of those islands. That city of Manila and the terri-
tory within range of our guns have become " intrusted to our hands " with one
city, Iloilo, since added. All the rest is intrusted to the inhabitants themselves.
The Island of Luzon possesses large numbers of men of intelligence who have
proven their capacity. It is under a constitution of which Senator Hoar says:


" There are not ten men on the planet who could have made one better." They
have an organized army. They have rightfully supplied themselves with arms.
Yet these people Avho trusted us have been slaughtered by thousands by American
troops acting under the orders of President McKinley.

In apology and excuse for his previous course the President says : " Congress
can declare war, but a higher power decrees its bounds and fixes its relations and
responsibilities. The President can direct the movements of soldiers upon the
held, and the fleets upon the sea, but he cannot foresee the close of such move-
ments or prescribe their limits." Perhaps he could not prescribe the limits — the
more reason to count the cost in blood and treasure. The very moment this war
was entered upon I sent to Europe for the sick and death rates of the British
armies in India, of the French army in the tropics, and of the Dutch army in their
colonies. In the treatise on the Hell of War may be found the whole ghastly
record to which for want of foresight we are about to expose the young men of
this country unless we stop this national crime where it is. One example may
here be given :

A few years ago France undertook the conquest of Madagascar, and to carry
Christian civilization to the inhabitants at the point of the bayonet. They landed
12,800 troops, men from the army and navy, 2,000 of whom were in colonial
regiments and were acclimated. Madagascar is a healthier island than Luzon,
not as near the equator. In ten months 4,200 of these men died. The rest were
so disabled that in one regiment, of which sixty per cent, died, not one single man
reached the objective point. In Madagascar the French are now trying to main-
tain troops under a sick and death rate that they are afraid to have published
even in their own country.

A^ain, witness the condition of the white troops in India. There were
70,000 Bi-itish troops in India in 1896. In that year the admissions to hospital
were nearly fourteen hundred men to each thousand on the average ; that is to
say, the whole foi - ce admitted once, nearly four hundred twice ; the average term
of each stay in hospital, thirty-five days. That average includes the health stations
on the hills. There were 40,000 men on the plains, where it is hot and mostly dry.
At some of these stations admission to hospitals ranged from 2,000 to 3,400 for
every thousand men. The conditions in India are not nearly as bad as the
malarious conditions in the Philippines described by Professor Worcester. In
such hot climates, where every thought of morality and self-restraint is lost, 550
in every 1,000 in India, and in some stations 850 and 1,015, are infected with
venereal diseases, of which the details are given in my treatise on the Hell of
War. The accounts of the Surgeon-General of the United States have been
demanded so that the people of this country may learn what the hell of war
really is even when no shot or shell is fired.

I claim no more foresight than any other man of common sense, but when
the danger of war was disclosed I sent for these documents and I have secured

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Online LibraryEdward AtkinsonIII. Criminal aggression : by whom committed? ... → online text (page 1 of 4)