OUR ISLANDS AND THEIR PEOPLE.
become difficult to revive the cotton production, although an essay, in pamphlet form (for which a prize was awarded in Madrid), was gratuitously circulated over the colony in 1888, with that object. Nevertheless, cotton spinning and weaving is still carried on at a reduced scale in the Ilocos Province (Luzon), on the west coast. Wild cotton is useless for spinning, as the staple is extremely short, but perhaps by careful attention its culture might become valuable to the colony. The pod is elliptical, and the cotton which bursts from it at maturity is snow white. It is used for stuffing pillows and mattresses. It is a common thing to see cotton trees planted along the road to serve as telegraph posts. By the time the seed is fully ripe every leaf has fallen and nothing but the bursting pods remain hanging to the branches.
Some of the tribes of natives have been our devoted friends, and it would be most unfair not to give them the right of self-government. Many of them are already fit for self-government in local affairs, and under territorial governors appointed by us they would get along very well, I am sure.
When I entered the town of Magalang, a small place with one long street, I found thirty-five cases of this disease. No care whatever had been taken to isolate these cases. I entered one house where I found two women lying on the floor dreadfully sick of small-pox. Several other women and children were near them in the same or adjoining rooms, the openings between the apartments being so large as not to separate them sufficiently to afford the slightest protection. In other houses and yards children affected with the disease were being carried about in the arms of their mothers.
In the city of Manila records of deaths and the diseases causing death are kept. During the last six months of 1899 all deaths within the limits of the city, other than those in our army, numbered 6,203. Nearly half of these were children. The causes were: Gastric affections, 1,158; beriberi, 570; tuberculosis, 385; bronchitis, 314; fevers, 287; heart disease, 287; enterocolitis, 262; dysentery, 220; intestinal catarrh, 166; meningitis, 139; gastroenteritis, 131; enteritis, 119.
MODE) OF OPERATING THE GARROTE.
The accommodating Filipinos are merely showing our artist how it is done. The real execution would be a different matter. The inhuman garrote was the
common instrument of execution in all the Spanish colonies.
I consider the Filipinos a very superior peoplea a people with great possibilities. They are ambitious. Many of them have been finely educated in Europe. They are not to be spoken of in the same breath with the Africans, so far as their possibilities go. They are, too, easily governed, and with the fair treatment which they will receive from us, we shall have no trouble with them. They appreciate consideration, I have found, but they are sensitive and are unwilling to be treated as inferiors. They are a little distrustful of us.
The diseases incident to the tropics prevail in the Philippines. Leprosy has always existed here, but is not very general, and the people do not seem to regard it as dangerously contagious. Small-pox is found in nearly every town, and a large portion of the people have pitted faces, showing that they have suffered from attacks of this disease. One reason is that no efforts have been made to prevent it. In some of the towns it was very general and nearly always fatal.
There has been a little bubonic plague, but not at all serious. Upon the whole, the Philippine Islands may be said to be a fairly healthy country; but to enjoy health it is necessary that precautions should be taken which experience in that country has proved necessary.
Dysentery in its various forms is a complaint quite prevalent in our army. With care and prompt attention this malady generally yielded to treatment, but after passing a certain stage it proved obstinate and often fatal, and physicians frequently found it necessary to recommend that patients be sent to Japan or to the United States.
Rheumatism is also an obstinate disease, owing, no doubt, to the humidity of the climate. Our soldiers suffered considerably from fevers; this wras probably caused by the army being scattered over a great extent of country. The fevers wrere not severe or malignant; by no means of the character of fever from which the army in Cuba suffered.