Senator Beveridge declares that the inhabitants of Mindanao are incapable of civilisation.
It seems to have been left to French and German contemporary writers, such as Dr. Montano and Professor Blumentritt to show a more appreciative, and the author thinks, a fairer spirit, than those who have requited the hospitality of the Filipinos by painting them in the darkest colours. It will be only fair to, exempt from this censure two American naval officers, Paymaster Wilcox and Mr. L. S. Sargent, who travelled in North Luzon and drew up a report of what they saw.
As regards the accusation of being savages, the Tagals can claim to have treated their prisoners of war, both Spaniards and Americans with humanity, and to be fairer fighters than the Boers.
The writer has endeavoured to describe the people as he found them. If his estimate of them is more favourable than that of others, it may be that he exercised more care in declining to do business with, or to admit to his service natives of doubtful reputation ; for he found his clients punctual in their payments, and his employs, workmen and servants, skilful, industrious, and grateful for benefits bestowed.
If the natives fared badly at the hands of recent authorsA the Spanish Administration fared worse, for it has been painted in the darkest tints, and unsparingly condemned.
It was indeed corrupt and defective, and what government is not ? More than anything, it was behind the age, yet it was not without its good points.
Until an inept bureaucracy was substituted for the old paternal rule, and the revenue quadrupled by increased taxation, the Filipinos were as happy a community as could be found in any colony. The population greatly multiplied ; they lived in competence, if not in affluence ; cultivation was extended, and the exports steadily increased
The natives were secured the perpetual usufruct of theThe natives were secured the perpetual usufruct of the