Philippine-American War, 1899-1902

by Arnaldo Dumindin

Dec. 10, 1898: Treaty of Paris

Oct. - Dec. 1898: The American Peace Commission at a conference in their council-room at the Continental Hotel, Paris. LEFT TO RIGHT: Whitelaw Reid, Sen. George Gray, John Moore (Secretary), Judge William R. Day, Sen. William P. Frye, and Sen. Cushman K. Davis.

On Oct. 1, 1898, American and Spanish delegates opened discussions in Paris to end the Spanish-American War. The American commission consisted of Judge William R. Day, Sen. Cushman K. Davis, Sen. William P. Frye, Sen. George Gray, and Whitelaw Reid.

The Spanish commission included the Spanish diplomats Eugenio Montero Ríos, Buenaventura de Abarzuza, José de Garnica, Wenceslao Ramírez de Villa-Urrutia, and Gen. Rafael Cerero, as well as a French diplomat, Jules Cambon.

The Times, Washington, D.C., issue of Oct. 2, 1898, Page 1

On the same day, at Washington, D.C., Philippine ambassador Felipe Agoncillo and his secretary, Sixto Lopez, met with President William McKinley but his request that Filipinos be represented at the Paris peace talks was rejected. 

The White House Visitor Center, ca 1898

 

Filipino diplomats and leaders in Paris, 1898. SEATED, from left: F. de Almores, Felipe Agoncillo, Pedro Roxas, and Antonino Vergel de Dios. STANDING, from left: B. Villanueva, Antonio Roxas, E. Brias, and P.A. Roxas. 

Agoncillo (LEFT) and Felix Roxas (RIGHT) went to Paris and tried to represent the Filipinos in the negotiations, but they were excluded from the sessions as Aguinaldo's declaration of Philippine independence on June 12, 1898 was not recognized by the family of nations.

The snub irked Filipino leaders, whose troops effectively controlled the entire archipelago except Muslim areas in Mindanao and the capital city of Manila.

Tension and ill feelings were growing between American and Filipino troops in Manila and the suburbs. In addition to Manila, Iloilo, the main port on the island of Panay, also was a pressure point. The Revolutionary Government of the Visayas was proclaimed there on Nov. 17, 1898, and an American force stood poised to capture the city. Upon the announcement of the treaty, the radicals, Apolinario Mabini and General Antonio Luna, prepared for war, and provisional articles were added to the constitution giving President Aguinaldo dictatorial powers in times of emergency.

Issue of Nov. 22, 1898

Issue of Dec. 3, 1898

LEFT TO RIGHT: Felipe Agoncillo, Sixto Lopez, and two other Filipinos poring over documents in Paris; they were trying to prevent the cession of the Philippines to the United States and to secure recognition of the new Philippine Republic.

Dec. 10, 1898:  Last joint session of the Treaty of Paris. Attendees (LEFT to RIGHT) are:  Senator William Frye, John Moore (Secretary), Senator George Gray, Senator Cushman Davis, Judge William Day, Whitelaw Reid, General Rafael Cerero, Wenceslao Ramirez de Villa-Urrutia, Jose de Garnica, Buenaventura de Abarzuza, Eugenio Montero Rios, Arthur Ferguson (interpreter), and Emilio de Ojeda.

On December 10 the Treaty of Paris was signed, thus ending the Spanish-American War. Spain ceded  the Philippines, Guam, and Puerto Rico (Cuba was granted its independence); in return, the US paid Spain the sum of US$20 million for the Philippines.(The Philippine-American War, which broke out two months later, cost the United States $200 million). 

Diego de los Ríos, the last Spanish Governor-General of the Philippines. He became the governor on Aug. 13, 1898, with the capital at Iloilo on Panay Island, after Governor-General Fermin Jaudenes surrendered at Manila. His term ended on Dec. 10, 1898 when the Treaty of Paris was signed.