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The Philippine Islands A Political, Geographical, Ethnographical, Social and Commercial History of the Philippine Archipelago, Embracing the Whole Period of Spanish Rule   By:

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The Philippine Islands

A Political, Geographical, Ethnographical, Social and Commercial History of the Philippine Archipelago

Embracing the Whole Period of Spanish Rule

With an Account of the Succeeding American Insular Government

By John Foreman, F.R.G.S.

Third Edition, Revised and Enlarged with Maps and Illustrations

London: T. Fisher Unwin 1, Adelphi Terrace. MCMVI

Printed and bound by Hazell, Watson and Viney, LD., London and Aylesbury.

Preface to the First Edition

It would be surprising if the concerns of an interesting Colony like the Philippine Islands had not commanded the attention of literary genius.

I do not pretend, therefore, to improve upon the able productions of such eminent writers as Juan de le Concepcion, Martinez Zúñiga, Tomás de Comyn and others, nor do I aspire, through this brief composition, to detract from the merit of Jagor's work, which, in its day, commended itself as a valuable book of reference. But since then, and within the last twenty years, this Colony has made great strides on the path of social and material progress; its political and commercial importance is rapidly increasing, and many who know the Philippines have persuaded me to believe that my notes would be an appreciated addition to what was published years ago on this subject.

The critical opinions herein expressed are based upon personal observations made during the several years I have travelled in and about all the principal islands of the Archipelago, and are upheld by reference to the most reliable historical records.

An author should be benevolent in his judgement of men and manners and guarded against mistaking isolated cases for rules. In matters of history he should neither hide the truth nor twist it to support a private view, remembering how easy it is to criticize an act when its sequel is developed: such will be my aim in the fullest measure consistent.

By certain classes I may be thought to have taken a hypercritical view of things; I may even offend their susceptibilities if I adulated them I should fail to chronicle the truth, and my work would be a deliberate imposture.

I would desire it to be understood, with regard to the classes and races in their collectedness, that my remarks apply only to the large majority; exceptions undoubtedly there are these form the small minority. Moreover, I need hardly point out that the native population of the capital of the Philippines by no means represents the true native character, to comprehend which, so far as its complicacy can be fathomed, one must penetrate into and reside for years in the interior of the Colony, as I have done, in places where extraneous influences have, as yet, produced no effect.

There may appear to be some incongruity in the plan of a work which combines objects so dissimilar as those enumerated in the Contents pages, but this is not exclusively a History, or a Geography, or an Account of Travels it is a concise review of all that may interest the reader who seeks for a general idea of the condition of affairs in this Colony in the past and in the present.

J. F.

Preface to the Third Edition

The success which has attended the publication of the Second Edition of this work has induced me to revise it carefully throughout, adding the latest facts of public interest up to the present period.

Long years of personal acquaintance with many of the prime movers in the Revolutionary Party enabled me to estimate their aspirations. My associations with Spain and Spaniards since my boyhood helped me, as an eye witness of the outbreak of the Rebellion, to judge of the opponents of that movement. My connection with the American Peace Commission in Paris afforded me an opportunity of appreciating the noble desire of a free people to aid the lawful aspirations of millions of their fellow creatures... Continue reading book >>

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