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lished a paramount influence for peace and justice in a land that for a century has known little of either peace or justice.
The opening of the Suez Canal marked an epoch in history, though it was followed by profligacy, controversy, and war. In Panama these latter evils ran their vicious course before the United States assumed control. It will be this country's privilege, in pursuance of the just and equitable policy already established, to make their recurrence forever impossible, and to make the future of that great enterprise an era of continued equity and unbroken peace. Thus governed, the benefits of the Panama Canal to the whole world may surpass those of the Suez Canal as much as the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans surpass in size the Mediterranean and the Red Seas. The policy that is leading, and that alone could certainly have led to such a consummation, may be carped at and impugned by some who see it through the distortion of too close and too partial a vision. In the clear, comprehensive, and just perspective of history, its terms no less than its results will be its abundant and perpetual vindication.
WILLIS FLETCHER JOHNSON.
CIVIL GOVERNMENT IN THE "MORO PROVINCE."
It is well known that the Sulu archipelago and a great part of the island of Mindanao, the largest of the Philippine Islands, are inhabited by Moros, or Mohammedans. It will be remembered, also, that there is a considerable Christian population on the island of Mindanao, especially in its northern and northeastern portions, where the United States authorities had a good deal of trouble in 1900, and have had more or less ever since, owing to the insurrectionary spirit among this Christian population. The Lanao country, where Captain J. J. Pershing has been winning laurels during the past year, occupies the very heart of the island, and, from the white man's point of view, is the very garden spot of this garden island of the Philippine archipelago. It is, perhaps, not so generally known, and certainly not so much realized, that a large part of the interior of this great island is inhabited by one or two hundred thousand pagans, intimidated and for the most part confined to the interior by fear of the more warlike Moros, who up to the present generation roamed the shores in pirate bands searching for booty in the form of food and clothing supplies, and slaves for their own personal service or for the distant market. Indeed, the pirate spirit is now but imperfectly kept in check, and the pagans have good cause to fear to live on the coast in many places even to-day.
By an act of the United States Philippine Commission, passed June 1, 1903, that part of the island of Mindanao occupied chiefly by Moros and pagans, together with the whole of the Sulu archipelago, is given a somewhat autonomous form of government, under the name of "The Moro Province." This province is to be governed by a legislative council, consisting of the governor, the secretary, the treasurer, the engineer, the superintendent of schools, and the attorney. At the time of writing this act has not long taken effect. General Leonard Wood has been appointed governor, and he is now studying the problem before him and his colleagues. It is pertinent now to consider the environment which will condition his work, and what manner of work it must
The non-Christian tribes of this province, like the peoples of Europe, came into the country on successive waves of immigration; and, again like the peoples of Europe, they are generally more or less closely related in origin, while differing among themselves in languages, customs, and laws. The curse of Babel has lain heavily upon them, dividing them and destroying their power, or, perhaps it would be more accurate to say, marking their divisions and consequent weakness. Furthermore, these so-called "tribes" are generally united in languages and customs only, without being united in political organization, and may with greater propriety be called peoplets. These peoplets are divided into tribelets (allow me the word; I really need it) of almost incredible weakness.
To use the phraseology which is common in the discussion of the development of our own civilization, these various peoplets are distributed over the patriarchal and tribal stages, only slightly lapping over into the feudal, the pagan peoplets being very largely in the patriarchal stage. Thus when one speaks of the Mandayas, for instance, the mental picture should not be a tribe 10,000 strong, but rather a congeries of petty tribelets aggregating 10,000, united only in languages and customs, and generally at sword's points with one another. Undoubtedly this community of language and customs tends to unite this peoplet into a strong tribe; yet this has not been done for want of a common cause of overwhelming importance to overcome inherited tendencies and petty local jealousies and ambitions. The same is true of any one of the twenty-odd peoplets making up the pagan population of this province. Indeed, this is true more or less of all Malayan peoples. The race has never had the genius for union, and for this reason has always been the prey of any race with which it has come into conflict. This fact gives prominence to the hereditary element in this essential weakness.
I am aware of the fact that this position will be attacked from afar, on the ground that the Filipinos developed a very fair degree of union in the fight which they put up against the sovereignty of the United States,
that we taught them union and made of the various conflicting elements a Filipino people. This apparent union, however, is liable to mislead. It may be well to recall, in this connection, that the Americans had a shoal of petty local republics all over the islands to deal with. at the same time they were coping with the so-called Filipino republic; that these elements, united only in the one purpose of resistance to the United States, were mutually jealous and ambitious of local independence; and that of the two great generals in the army of the Filipino
republic, one was assassinated by orders of the other, who in his turn was captured by Filipinos under command of Americans, into whose service they had been driven by dissensions among themselves. But it is not necessary to thresh this matter out. Enough has been said to justify the claim that even in this case the Malayans have not developed that genius for union which comes so natural to us.
Judging by what one reads, even in official documents, the Moros are still regarded as one people; yet this is far from the fact. They are composed of a number of peoples and peoplets, differing essentially among themselves in languages and customs; and these in turn are divided into numerous petty tribes, generally more or less hostile to one another. Yet in their political organization they are in advance of their pagan neighbors. Probably this is due to the influence of their religious teachers from Arabia, and of their warlike religion itself; for they are Malayans themselves, resembling more or less closely the pagans of the same race. Their tribes are larger and are political rather than patriarchal, yet the memory of the patriarchal stage still clings to their speech. The Sultan of Sulu addresses a complaint to his "father," General Chaffee, and justifies himself in thus going past the officers nearer him by saying that he has already presented his complaint without avail to his "father," Major Williams, and also to his "father," General Davis. Surely this harks back pretty close to the times of Abraham and Lot.
Here, again, it may be well to distinguish somewhat emphatically between peoples and tribes. This distinction has not generally been made, though it would add materially to clearness. The Sulus, for instance, are the chief, though not the only, people of the Sulu archipelago. They have one language and essentially uniform customs and laws. Yet they are divided into small tribes, under practically independent chiefs, and one of the vexatious tasks of the commanding officers at Sulu has been to keep the peace among these potentates. Up to the arrival of the Americans on this scene, these tribes were somewhat loosely held together, under the overlordship of the Sultan, by their common enmity toward the Spaniards, who had introduced the Christian religion into their very midst, and had almost put an end to their piracies. It is important to bear in mind that the wars between the Spaniards and the Moros were generally regarded by both parties concerned as religious wars. After a brief acquaintance with the Americans, these Moros decided, for reasons not altogether flattering to us, that we are not a people to carry on religious wars. So now the feudal state has been separated into its constituent tribes, the bonds which once held these
tribes loosely together have become ropes of sand, and nothing short of a great common cause will ever galvanize them into any manner of strength. Anarchy, at least partial, has ensued, and it is this state of affairs with which the Americans have had to deal. The following is a characteristic official communication:
This letter as a sign of confidence from your son, Dato Mohammed Dahi Calbi, to my father, the Governor of Sulu:
I beg to inform my father that from the time my father requested that all stealing should for the present be stopped, our men have stopped it. All at once, during my illness, I became aware that all my horses, eighteen in number, had been stolen ; also two slaves and three head of cattle, my own property, not including those that were stolen the month before. If stealing is not bad I will go to my father and stay quiet, and let the thieves go on with their stealing. Now, although I have no property belonging to other people in my possession (my father may make inquiries whether this is true or not) they come and steal from me. We have kept quiet because we were waiting for their answer, for reason of the respect and love we have for you, although we had then not yet made up our mind for a conference. You requested us to stop stealing, but they do not pay attention to your request.
Greetings and best wishes to my father. I should like to see you very much, also my brothers Eddie and Charlie, but I am not able to go about yet. 29TH ZIL KA AEDAH, 1318.
This sheds a flood of light upon the Sulu situation; it is worthy of more than one careful reading. I cannot refrain from calling attention to some of its obvious, though unintended, revelations. Note that the American military governor had "requested that all stealing should for the present be stopped." Yet I hasten to say that the governor should not be blamed for his moderation in this matter; under the Bates Treaty he could do no more. And even if there had been no Bates Treaty he could have done little more except to talk more positively. In any case, Americans cannot stop Sulus from stealing from one another. Again, Dato Calbi asserts that for a whole month he had refrained from stealing out of respect and love for the governor, and assigns no other reason for his strange conduct. Yet he does incidentally inform us that he had been ill, and we are at liberty to draw natural inferences from this fact. Certainly he was not restrained by any sentiment of right and wrong, or by fear of the regularly constituted government of the Sultan.
It would seem to be the part of wisdom for the Americans to strengthen the government which they had recognized, rather than to turn the archipelago over to anarchy; yet for reasons not to be discussed here this was not done. In speaking of a matter of little intrinsic interest in this connection, one of the district commanders, Major J. S. Pettit, First Infantry, in an official report of early date, remarks: