The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898/Volume 1/General Preface

The Philippine Islands, 1493–1803, Volume 1
edited by Emma Helen Blair and James Alexander Robertson


The entrance of the United States of America into the arena of world-politics, the introduction of American influence into Oriental affairs, and the establishment of American authority in the Philippine archipelago, all render the history of those islands and their numerous peoples a topic of engrossing interest and importance to the reading public, and especially to scholars, historians, and statesmen. The present work—its material carefully selected and arranged from a vast mass of printed works and unpublished manuscripts—is offered to the public with the intention and hope of casting light on the great problems which confront the American people in the Philippines; and of furnishing authentic and trustworthy material for a thorough and scholarly history of the islands. For this purpose, the Editors reproduce (mainly in English translation) contemporaneous documents which constitute the best original sources of Philippine history. Beginning with Pope Alexander VI's line of demarcation between the Spanish and the Portuguese dominions in the New World (1493), the course of history in the archipelago is thus traced through a period of more than three centuries, comprising the greater part of the Spanish regimé.

In the selection of material, the Editors have sought to make the scope of the work commensurate with the breadth of the field, and to allot to each subject space proportioned to its interest; not only the political relations, but the social and religious, economic and commercial conditions of the Philippines have received due attention and care. All classes of writers are here represented—early navigators, officials civil and military, ecclesiastical dignitaries, and priests belonging to the various religious orders who conducted the missions among the Filipino peoples. To the letters, reports, and narratives furnished by these men are added numerous royal decrees, papal bulls and briefs, and other valuable documents. Most of this material is now for the first time made accessible to English-speaking readers; and the great libraries and archives of Spain, Italy, France, England, Mexico, and the United States have generously contributed to furnish it.

In the presentation of these documents, the Editors assume an entirely impartial attitude, free from any personal bias, whether political or sectarian. They aim to secure historical accuracy, especially in that aspect which requires the sympathetic interpretation of each author's thought and intention; and to depict faithfully the various aspects of the life of the Filipinos, their relations with other peoples (especially those of Europe), and the gradual ascent of many tribes from barbarism. They invite the reader's especial attention to the Introduction furnished for this series by Professor Edward Gaylord Bourne, of Yale University—valuable alike for its breadth of view and for its scholarly thoroughness. The Bibliographical Data at the end of each volume will supply necessary information as to sources and location of the documents published therein; fuller details, and of broader scope, will be given in the volume devoted to Philippine bibliography, at the end of the series.

In preparing this work, the Editors have received most friendly interest and aid from scholars, historians, archivists, librarians, and State officials; and from prominent ecclesiastics of the Roman Catholic church, and members of its religious orders. Especial thanks are due to the following persons: Hon. John Hay, Secretary of State, Washington; Sr. D. Juan Riaño, secretary of the Spanish Legation, Washington; Hon. Bellamy Storer, late U. S. Minister to Spain; Hon. Robert Stanton Sickles, secretary of U. S. Legation, Madrid; Dr. Thomas Cooke Middleton, O.S.A., Villanova College, Penn.; Rev. Thomas E. Sherman, S.J., St. Ignatius College, Chicago; Rev. John J. Wynne, S.J., Apostleship of Prayer, New York; Rev. Ubaldus Pandolfi, O. S. F., Boston; Bishop Ignatius F. Horstmann, Cleveland; Bishop Sebastian G. Messmer, Green Bay, Wis.; Fray Eduardo Navarro Ordóñez, O.S.A., Colegio de Agustinos, Valladolid, Spain; Rev. Pablo Pastells, S.J., Sarriá, Barcelona, Spain; Charles Franklin Thwing, LL.D., President of Western Reserve University; Frederick J. Turner, Director of the School of History, University of Wisconsin; Richard T. Ely (director) and Paul S. Reinsch, of the School of Economics and Political Science, University of Wisconsin; Edward G. Bourne, Professor of History, Yale University; Herbert Putnam (librarian), Worthington C. Ford, P. Lee Phillips, A. P. C. Griffin, James C. Hanson, and other officials, Library of Congress, Washington, D. C.; Wilberforce Eames (librarian) and Victor H. Paltsits, Lenox Library, New York; William I. Fletcher, librarian of Amherst College; Reuben G. Thwaites and Isaac S. Bradley, State Historical Society of Wisconsin; William C. Lane (librarian) and T. J. Kiernan, Library of Harvard University; John D. Fitzgerald, Columbia University, New York; Henry Vignaud, chief secretary of U. S. Legation, Paris; Sr. D. Duque del Almodovar del Rio, Minister of State, Madrid, Spain; Sr. Francisco Giner de los Rios, of University of Madrid, and Director of Institutión Libre de Enseñanza; Sr. Ricardo Velasquez Bosco, Madrid; Sr. D. Cesáreo Fernández Duro, of Real Academia de la Historia, Madrid; Sr. D. Eduardo de Hinojosa, Madrid; Sr. D. Pedro Torres Lanzas, Director of Archivo General de Indias, Seville; Sr. D. Julian Paz, Director of Archivo General, Simancas; Sr. D. Francisco de P. Cousiño y Vazquez, Librarian of Museo-Biblioteca de Ultramar, Madrid.

Favors from the following are also acknowledged: Benj. P. Bourland, Professor of Romance Languages, Western Reserve University; Professor C. H. Grandgent, Department of Romance Languages, Harvard University; John Thomson, Free Library of Philadelphia; George Parker Winship, Carter-Brown Library, Providence, R. L; Addison Van Name, Librarian of Yale University; Otto H. Tittmann, U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, and Dr. Otis T. Mason, Curator U. S. National Museum, Washington, D. C.; Rev. Laurence J. Kenny, S.J., St. Louis University; Rev. Henry J. Shandelle, S.J., Georgetown University, Washington; Rev. Thomas Hughes, S.J., and Rev. Rudolf J. Meyer, S.J., Rome, Italy; Dr. N. Murakami, Imperial University, Tokyo, Japan; Sr. D. Vicente Vignau y Balester, Director of Archivo Histórico-Nacional, Madrid; Sr. D. Conde de Ramonones, Minister of Public Instruction, Madrid; Sr. D. W. E. Retana, Civil Governor of province of Huesca, Spain; Sr. D. Clemente Miralles de Imperial (director) and Sr. D. J. Sanchez Garrigós (librarian), of Compañia General de Tabacos de Filipinas, Barcelona; Rev. Julius Alarcon, S.J., Rev. Joaquin Sancho, S.J., Rev. J. M. de Mendia, S.J., and the late Rev. José Maria Vélez, S.J., Madrid; Rev. T. M. Obeso, S.J., Bilbao; Rev. José Algué, S.J., Director of Observatory, Manila, Luzon; Fray Tirso Lopez, O.S.A., and Fray Antonio Blanco, O.S.A., Colegio de Agustinos, Valladolid; Sr. Antonio Rodriguez Villa, Biblioteca de la Real Académia de la Historia, Madrid; Sr. Roman Murillo y Olio, Librarian, Real Académia Española, Madrid; and officials of Biblioteca Nacional, Madrid; Sr. Gabriel Pereira, Director of Bibliotheca Nacional, Lisbon; Sr. P. A. d'Azevedo, Director of Archivo Nacional (Torre do Tombo), Lisbon; Sr. José Duarte Ramalho Ortigão (director) and Sr. Jordão A. de Freitas (official), Bibliotheca Real da Ajuda, Lisbon ; officials of Academia Real das Sciencias, Lisbon; and officials of U. S. Legations, Lisbon and Madrid.

Emma Helen Blair

James Alexander Robertson