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“A New West in Mindanao”: Settler Fantasies on the U.S. Imperial Fringe

  • Oliver Charbonneau (a1)
  • Please note a correction has been issued for this article.

Abstract

This essay analyzes white settler formations in the Southern Philippines during the early decades of the twentieth century. Occupied by the United States in the wake of the Spanish-American War, the Muslim-majority regions of Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago became sites of colonial experimentation and reconfiguration. This led to a brief-but-concerted push by Euro-American fortune seekers to settle the “Muslim South.” Supported by U.S. policy makers and colonial officials, white colonists were drawn to Mindanao-Sulu by visions of permanent settlement and limitless economic opportunity. This analysis contends that settler attempts to build a “white man's country” in the Southern Philippines were shaped by vernaculars and modes of conquest developed on the continental frontier. It interrogates the creation of transoceanic frontier spaces in Mindanao-Sulu and the practical attempts to exploit them, which drew inspiration from diverse sources in the American West and across the colonized globe. In its study of settler fortunes and failures, the essay blurs distinctions between national and imperial peripheries, and contributes to a growing scholarly interest in reassessing the importance of U.S. extraterritorial possessions in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

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*Corresponding author. E-mail: oliverchar@gmail.com

References

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Notes

1 J. A. Hackett and J. H. Sutherland, “A Decennium,” Mindanao Herald, Feb. 3, 1909; Hurley, Vic, Jungle Patrol: The Story of the Philippine Constabulary (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1938), 266.

2 “District of Davao,” Mindanao Herald, Feb. 3, 1909.

3 “District of Lanao,” Mindanao Herald, Feb. 3, 1909.

4 Americans adopted the term “Moro” from the Spanish, who arrived in Southeast Asia in the sixteenth century with recent memories of the Reconquista; thus a group of differentiated societies fell under one designation. The Muslim peoples of Mindanao-Sulu have reclaimed the name in recent decades. In this article, I try to identify important ethnic subdivisions wherever possible, although the fact remains that colonial actors often referred to Muslims in the region simply as “Moros.” I use the term Lumad as a collective designation to identify non-Muslim indigenous peoples. Americans commonly called them “pagans” or “non-Christians,” occasionally using a specific ethno-tribal identifier like “Manobo” or “Bagobo.” Regional identities are explored in McKenna, Thomas, Muslim Rulers and Rebels: Everyday Politics and Armed Separatism in the Southern Philippines (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998), 69112; and Hayase, Shinzo, Mindanao Ethnohistory Beyond Nations: Maguindanao, Sangir, and Bagobo Societies in East Maritime Southeast Asia (Quezon City, PI: Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2007).

5 For discussions of colonial and anti-colonial violence in the Moro Province, consult Amirell, Stefan Eklöf, “Pirates and Pearls: Jikiri and the Challenge to Maritime Security and American Sovereignty in the Sulu Archipelago, 1907–1909,” International Journal of Maritime History 29 (Feb. 2017): 4467; Dphrepaulezz, Omar H., “Genesis or Genocide? Leonard Wood, Theodore Roosevelt and the White Man's Empire in the Southern Philippines,” Theory in Action 9 (Oct. 2016): 6589; Hawkins, Michael C., “Managing a Massacre: Savagery, Civility, and Gender in Moro Province in the Wake of Bud Dajo,” Philippine Studies 59 (Mar. 2011): 83105; Pershing, John J. My Life Before the War, 1860–1917: A Memoir, ed. Greenwood, John T. (Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 2013), 155205.

6 The last American district governor in the Islamic Philippines, James Fugate, left office in 1935 and was murdered in Cotabato in 1937. The role of white residents in Mindanao-Sulu during the period between Filipinization and the Second World remains understudied despite their continued presence and influence. The most comprehensive (albeit partial) account of the 1930s can be found in Hayden, Joseph Ralston, The Philippines: A Study in National Development (New York: MacMillan Co., 1942).

7 Works analyzing conflict in Mindanao and Sulu through the lens of military history include Arnold, James R., The Moro War: How America Battled a Muslim Insurgency in the Philippine Jungle, 1902–1913 (New York: Bloomsbury Press, 2011); Bacevich, Andrew, “Disagreeable Work: Pacifying the Moros, 1903–1906,” Military Review 62 (June 1982): 4961; Byler, Charles, “Pacifying the Moros: American Military Government in the Southern Philippines, 1899–1913,” Military Review 85 (May 2005): 4145; Fulton, Robert A., Moroland: The History of Uncle Sam and the Moros, 1899–1920, 2nd ed. (Bend, OR: Tumalo Creek Press, 2007); George William Jornacion, “The Time of the Eagles: United States Army Officers and the Pacification of the Philippine Moros, 1899–1913” (PhD diss., University of Maine, 1973); Wayne Wray Thompson, “Governors of the Moro Province: Wood, Bliss, and Pershing in the Southern Philippines, 1903–1913” (PhD diss., University of California, San Diego, 1975).

8 “Editorial Comment,” Mindanao Herald, Nov. 2, 1907.

9 Abinales, Patricio N., Making Mindanao: Cotabato and Davao in the Formation of the Philippine Nation-State (Quezon City, PI: Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2000); Abinales, , Orthodoxy and History in the Muslim-Mindanao Narrative (Quezon City, PI: Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2010); and Abinales, , “The U.S. Army as an Occupying Force in Muslim Mindanao, 1899–1913” in Colonial Crucible: Empire in the Making of the Modern American State, eds. McCoy, Alfred W. and Scarano, Francisco A. (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2009), 410–20; Dacudao, Patricia Irene, “Ghost in the Machine: Mechanization in a Philippine Frontier, 1898–1941” in Travelling Goods, Travelling Moods: Varieties of Cultural Appropriation (1850–1950), eds. Huck, Christian and Bauernschmidt, Stefan (Frankfurt: Campus Verlag, 2012), 2933; Hayase, Shinzo, “American Colonial Policy and the Japanese Abaca Industry in Davao, 1898–1941,” Philippine Studies 33 (Dec. 1985): 505–17.

10 Chanco, Christopher John, “Frontier Polities and Imaginaries: The Reproduction of Settler Colonial Space in the Southern Philippines,” Settler Colonial Studies 7 (Jan. 2017): 124.

11 Gowing, Peter G., Mandate in Moroland: The American Government of Muslim Filipinos, 1899–1920 (Quezon City, PI: New Day Publishers, 1983); and Gowing, , “Moros and Indians: Commonalities of Purpose, Policy and Practice in American Government of Two Hostile Subject Peoples,” Philippine Quarterly of Culture & Society 8 (June/Sept. 1980): 125–49; Joshua Gedacht, “'Mohammedan Religion Made it Necessary to Fire': Massacres on the American Imperial Frontier from South Dakota to the Southern Philippines” in McCoy and Scarano, Colonial Crucible: Empire in the Making of the Modern American State, 398–99; Hawkins, Michael C., Making Moros: Imperial Historicism and American Military Rule in the Philippines' Muslim South (DeKalb: North Illinois University Press, 2012).

12 A wide-reaching and sustained examination of transoceanic frontier connectivities can be found in Bjork, Katharine, Prairie Imperialists: The Indian Country Origins of American Empire (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018).

13 Jacobs, Margaret, “Parallel or Intersecting Tracks? The History of the U.S. West and Comparative Settler Colonialism,” Settler Colonial Studies 4 (Apr. 2014): 158. On the nineteenth-century U.S. settler colonial condition, see Frymer, Paul, Building an American Empire: The Era of Territorial and Political Expansion (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2017); Hixon, Walter L., American Settler Colonialism: A History (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013); Silbey, David, A War of Frontier and Empire: The Philippine-American War, 1899–1902 (New York: Hill & Wang, 2007); and Slotkin, Richard, The Fatal Environment: The Myth of the Frontier in the Age of Industrialization, 1800–1890 (New York: Athaneum, 1985); on the Pacific world, see Banner, Stuart, Possessing the Pacific: Land, Settlers, and Indigenous People from Australia to Alaska (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007).

14 Kramer, Paul, “Embedding Capital: Political-Economic History, the United States, and the World,” Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era 15 (July 2016): 337. On resource management and environment, see Tyrrell, Ian, Crisis of the Wasteful Nation: Empire and Conservation in Theodore Roosevelt's America (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015), 3998. On labor and empire, see Bender, Daniel E. and Lipman, Jana, eds., Making the Empire Work: Labor and United States Imperialism (New York: New York University Press, 2015); Greene, Julie, The Canal Builders: Making America's Empire at the Panama Canal (New York: Penguin, 2009); Justin Jackson, “The Work of Empire: The U.S. Army and the Making of American Colonialisms in Cuba and the Philippines, 1898–1913” (PhD diss., Columbia University, 2014); on transcontinental “investment frontiers,” see Maggor, Noam, Brahmin Capitalism: Frontiers of Wealth and Populism in America's First Gilded Age (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2017).

15 Wrobel, David, Global West, American Frontier: Travel, Empire, and Exceptionalism from Manifest Destiny to the Great Depression (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2013), 1518.

16 Barth, Volker and Cvetkovski, Roland, “Encounters of Empire: Methodological Approaches” in Imperial Co-operation and Transfer, 1870–1930, eds. Barth, Volker and Cvetkovski, Roland (New York: Bloomsbury, 2015), 333; Headrick, Daniel R., The Tentacles of Progress: Technology Transfer in the Age of Imperialism, 1850–1940 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988); Rosenberg, Emily, “Transnational Currents in a Shrinking World” in A World Connecting, ed. Rosenberg, Emily (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press), 285434.

17 The American West itself was conquered and transformed through diverse interactivities. A recent effort to globalize the continental frontier is found in Lahti, Janne, The American West and the World: Transnational and Comparative Perspectives (New York: Routledge, 2018).

18 “Governor Wood's Recommendations,” Mindanao Herald, Dec. 3, 1904; “Use a Little Common Sense,” Mindanao Herald, Oct. 29, 1904; “Editorial Comment,” Mindanao Herald, May 5, 1906.

19 Territorium nullis and terra nullis have deep histories as philosophical and legal justifications for expansion and dispossession in European colonial settings. See Fitzmaurice, Andrew, “The Genealogy of Terra Nullius,” Australian Historical Studies 38 (Apr. 2007): 115.

20 Barrows, David Prescott, Circular of Information Instructions for Volunteer Field Workers – The Museum of Ethnology, Natural History and Commerce (Manila: The Bureau of Non-Christian Tribes, 1901), 3.

21 Hawkins, Making Moros, 41.

22 Edward Davis to Hugh Scott, Dec. 1, 1903, folder 4, box 55, Hugh Lenox Scott Papers, Library of Congress; “Report on Intelligence-Gathering Trip from Cotabato to Lebac,” Apr. 20, 1903, folder 1, box 1; G. Soulard Turner Papers, United States Army Heritage and Education Center (Carlisle, PA); Anduaga, Aitor, “Spanish Jesuits in the Philippines: Geophysical Research and Synergies Between Science, Education and Trade, 1865–1898,” Annals of Science 71 (Oct. 2014): 497521; “Survey of the Moro Province,” Mindanao Herald, Sept. 14, 1907.

23 Zamboanga Fair Speech, Feb. 12, 1907, folder 5, box 43, Tasker Bliss Collection, United States Army Heritage and Education Center (Carlisle, PA).

24 The Department of Mindanao and Sulu at the Second Philippine Exposition (Zamboanga, PI: Mindanao Herald Publishing Co., 1914), 1719; “Cotabato: Largest and Most Fertile Province in the Philippine Islands,” 1920, file 26711-4, box 1123, General Classified Files 1898–1945 (1914–1945 Segment), Record Group 350.3 – Entry 5, National Archives (College Park, MD); Frank Carpenter to Rafael Palma, Feb. 24, 1920, box 1, Frank Carpenter Papers, Library of Congress; Carpenter, Frank W., Report of the Governor of the Department Mindanao and Sulu (Philippine Islands) 1914 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1916), 354.

25 Finley, John P., “The Mohammedan Problem in the Philippines II,” Journal of Race Development 7 (July 1916): 355.

26 “A White Man's Country,” Mindanao Herald, Apr. 8, 1905.”

27 “A White Man's Country,” Mindanao Herald, Apr. 8, 1905.”

28 Aldrich, Robert, “Colonial Man” in French Masculinities: History, Culture and Politics, eds. Forth, Christopher E. and Taithe, Bertrand (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), 136.

29 “Editorial Comment,” Mindanao Herald, Sept. 16, 1905; “The Inevitable is Approaching,” Mindanao Herald, Jan. 26, 1907; “Characterized by the Spirit of Enterprise,” Mindanao Herald (reprinted from Manila Daily Bulletin), Nov. 17, 1906; “The Dato of the Malanos,” unpublished memoirs, undated, folder 3, box 11, Hugh A. Drum Papers, United States Army Heritage and Education Center (Carlisle, PA).

30 Americans also racialized Christian Filipinos as “Indians.” See Goh, Daniel P. S., “Postcolonial Disorientations: Colonial Ethnography and the Vectors of the Philippine Nation in the Imperial Frontier,” Postcolonial Studies 11 (Sept. 2008): 261–62; Amy Lee Kohout, “From the Field: Nature and Work on American Frontiers, 1876–1909” (PhD diss., Cornell University, 2015); Roth, Russell, Muddy Glory: America's “Indian Wars” in the Philippines, 1899–1935 (W. Hanover, MA: Christopher Publishing House, 1981); Drinnon, Richard, Facing West: The Metaphysics of Indian-Hating & Empire-Building (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1980).

31 Gowing, “Moros and Indians,” 126–27. Officers stationed in the Muslim South also kept tabs on developments in the American West. During his time in Sulu, Hugh Scott corresponded with Francis E. Leupp, future commissioner of Indian Affairs – Francis E. Leupp to Hugh Scott, Nov. 5, 1903, folder 4, box 55, Hugh Lenox Scott Papers, Library of Congress; Frank Carpenter to Adjutant General, Sept. 17, 1932, box 1, Frank W. Carpenter Papers, Library of Congress.

32 “The Dato of the Malanos,” unpublished memoirs, undated, folder 3, box 11, Hugh A. Drum Papers, United States Army Heritage and Education Center (Carlisle, PA).

33 Finley, John Park, “Race Development by Industrial Means among the Moros and Pagans of the Southern Philippines,” The Journal of Race Development 3 (Jan. 1913): 354.

34 J. Franklin Bell to Francis Burton Harrison, Jan. 28, 1914, box 41, Burton Norvell Harrison Family Papers, Library of Congress. For further comparisons, see Atherton Brownell, “Turning Savages Into Citizens,” Outlook, Jan. 1911, 925; Hurley, Vic, The Swish of the Kris: The Story of the Moros (New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., 1936), 7578; “Diary of a Twelve-Day Tour with Vice-Governor Hayden from Manila to Sulu and Back,” Sept. 13, 1935, box 8, Harley Harris Bartlett Papers, Bentley Historical Library (Ann Arbor, MI).

35 Frederick Palmer, “Americanizing the Southern Philippines,” Colliers Weekly, Sept. 1, 1900.

36 “Treasurer's Report,” Mindanao Herald, Sept. 10, 1904; Finley, “Race Development by Industrial Means,” 364.

37 “Successful Year is Promised,” Mindanao Herald, Oct. 27, 1906; Suzuki, Nobutaka, “Upholding Filipino Nationhood: The Debate Over Mindanao in the Philippine Legislature,” Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 44 (June 2013): 284.

38 Wood, Leonard, Annual Report of the Governor of the Moro Province, September 1, 1903, to August 31, 1904 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1904), 20.

39 Wood, Annual Report 1904, 19.

40 Gedacht, Joshua, “Zamboanga and the Making of Modernity in Colonial Mindanao” in Colonialism and Modernity: Re-Mapping Philippine Histories, eds. Campomanes, Oscar et al. (Bicol, PI, forthcoming), 2.

41 “'The Key to the Orient’: The Growing Port of Zamboanga,” file 26715, box 1123, General Classified Files 1898–1945 (1914–1945 Segment), Record Group 350.3 – Entry 5, National Archives (College Park, MD).

42 “American Residents of Zamboanga, Together with Europeans,” undated, box 320, John J. Pershing Papers, Library of Congress.

43 “The Monkeys Have No Tails in Zamboanga,” unpublished memoirs, 1974, box 1, Charles F. Ivins Papers, United States Army Heritage and Education Center (Carlisle, PA).

44 Sanger, J. P. et al. , Census of the Philippines, Vol. 2: Population (Washington, DC: United States Bureau of the Census, 1905), 407.

45 Pershing, John J., The Annual Report of the Governor of the Moro Province (Zamboanga, PI: Mindanao Herald Publishing Co., 1913), 51; Beyer, H. Otley, Population of the Philippine Islands in 1916 (Manila: Philippine Education Co., 1917), 76.

46 Abinales, “State Authority and Local Power,” 140.

47 Missionary endeavors are described in Oliver Charbonneau, “Civilizational Imperatives: U.S. Colonial Culture in the Islamic Philippines, 1899–1942” (PhD diss., University of Western Ontario, 2016), 171–185. On banks and foreign capital in the Muslim South, see “Chartered Bank Opens Branch,” Mindanao Herald, Dec. 8, 1906; “Real American Capital Coming,” Mindanao Herald, Feb. 29, 1908.

48 Pershing, Annual Report 1911, 7.

49 Constabulary Files, 1910–1913, box 320, John J. Pershing Papers, Library of Congress.

50 “Davao Planters Doing Things,” Mindanao Herald, Mar. 30, 1907; “Planters Association for Zamboanga,” Mindanao Herald, Sept. 21, 1907; Plantation Doing Well,” Mindanao Herald, Feb. 15, 1908. Degeneration was an omnipresent tropic. From a 1904 report: “Our standing among the people of these island has been much injured by the presence of a large and tough class of so-called Americans, whose energies have been principally expended in the construction, maintenance, and patronage of rum shops.” Three decades later, Constabulary officer Charles Ivins wrote of “sunshiners”: white men who married native women and were banished from colonial society as a result. See Wood, Annual Report 1904, 21; “The Monkeys Have No Tails in Zamboanga,” unpublished memoirs, 1974, box 1, Charles F. Ivins Papers, United States Army Heritage and Education Center (Carlisle, PA). On interracial relationships in the colonial Philippines, see Winkelmann, Tessa Ong, “Rethinking the Sexual Geography of American Empire in the Philippines: Interracial Intimacies in Mindanao and the Cordilleras, 1898–1921” in Gendering the Trans-Pacific World: Diaspora, Empire, and Race, eds. Choy, Catherine Ceniza and Wu, Judy Tzu-Chun (Leiden: Brill, 2017), 3976.

51 Patricio N. Abinales, “State Authority and Local Power in the Southern Philippines, 1900–1972” (PhD diss., Cornell University, 1997), 123–24; Langhorne, George T., Second Annual Report of the Governor of the Province of Moro (Manila: Bureau of Printing, 1905), 6.

52 “Treasurer's Report,” Mindanao Herald, Sept. 17, 1904.

53 “Spirit of the Island Press,” Mindanao Herald, Dec. 24, 1904.

54 Wood, Leonard and Bliss, Tasker H., Annual Report of the Governor of the Moro Province (Zamboanga,PI: n.p., 1906), 3637.

55 The Herald, for instance, imagined a commercial situation where the trading houses of British-controlled Singapore would compete with those in Manila for the business of the southern merchant. “Singapore Heads Race for Moro Trade,” Mindanao Herald, May 13, 1905; Langhorne, Annual Report 1905, 5.

56 Letter from Edward Davis to Hugh Scott, Dec. 1, 1903, folder 4, box 55, Hugh Lenox Scott Papers, Library of Congress; “Report on Intelligence-Gathering Trip from Cotabato to Lebac,” Apr. 20, 1903, folder 1, box 1, G. Soulard Turner Papers, United States Army Heritage and Education Center (Carlisle, PA); “Local Mentions,” Mindanao Herald, Dec. 19, 1903; Smith, Warren D., “A Geologic Reconnaissance of the Island of Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago,” Philippine Journal of Science 3 (Dec. 1908): 473–74; “Mineral Wealth in Mindanao,” Mindanao Herald, Aug. 10, 1907.

57 Pershing, John J., Annual Report of Brigadier John J. Pershing, U.S. Army, Governor of the Moro Province, for the Year Ending June 30, 1911 (Zamboanga, PI: Mindanao Herald Publishing Co., 1911), 48.

58 George Langhorne to Hugh Scott, Sept. 21, 1903, folder 5, box 55, Hugh Scott Papers, Library of Congress; “Minutes of the Legislative Council of the Moro Province,” July 31, 1905–Apr. 16, 1906, folder 3, box 216, Leonard Wood Papers, Library of Congress; Wood and Bliss, Annual Report 1906, 24; Bliss, , The Annual Report of the Governor of the Moro Province – For the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 1908 (Zamboanga, PI: Mindanao Herald Publishing Co., 1908), 16; Carpenter, Frank W., Report of the Governor of the Department of Mindanao and Sulu (Philippine Islands) 1914 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1916), 355. The institution's Spanish roots are probed in Bankoff, Greg, “Deportation and the Prison Colony of San Ramon, 1870–1898,” Philippine Studies 39 (Sept. 1991): 443–57.

59 Brody, David, Visualizing American Empire: Orientalism and Imperialism in the Philippines (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010), 89112; Kirsch, Scott, “Aesthetic Regime Change: The Burnham Plans and US Landscape Imperialism in the Philippines,” Philippine Studies 65 (Sept. 2017): 315–56, and Kirsch, , “Insular Territories: US Colonial Science, Geopolitics, and the (Re)Mapping of the Philippines,” Geographical Journal 182 (Mar. 2016): 214.

60 Suzuki, “Upholding Filipino Nationhood,” 285; “We Demand Separation,” Mindanao Herald, July 22, 1905.

61 “Mr. Beardsley Talks of Davao,” Mindanao Herald, Feb. 22, 1908.

62 “Mr. Bryan's Position,” Mindanao Herald, June 9, 1906.

63 Suzuki, “Upholding Filipino Nationhood,” 290–91. For how this has animated debates in the Philippines over national identity/unity, see Buendia, Rizal G., “The State-Moro Conflict in the Philippines: Unresolved National Question or Question of Governance?,” Asian Journal of Political Science 13 (June 2005): 109–38; Juan, E. San Jr., “Ethnic Identity and Popular Sovereignty: Notes on the Moro Struggle in the Philippines,” Ethnicities 6 (Sept. 2006): 391422.

64 “Lease Clause Acceptable,” Mindanao Herald, Dec. 16, 1905; “Survey of the Moro Province,” Mindanao Herald, Sept. 14, 1907.

65 Langhorne, Annual Report 1905, 6–7.

66 “A Real Pioneer at Cagayan Sulu,” Mindanao Herald, Dec. 14, 1907.

67 “The Lapac Plantation,” Mindanao Herald, Dec. 28, 1907; “Siasi to the Front,” Mindanao Herald, Dec. 15, 1906; “Capt. DeWitt Talks of Siasi,” Mindanao Herald, Apr. 13, 1907; “Sulu Development Co.,” Mindanao Herald, Feb. 22, 1908; “Moro Plantation Company,” Mindanao Herald, Sept. 28, 1907; “Moro Plantation and Development Co.,” Mindanao Herald, Apr. 6, 1907; “The Frontier in Mindanao,” Mindanao Herald, Apr. 20, 1907; Walther, Karine V., Sacred Interests: The United States and the Islamic World, 1821–1921 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2015), 228; Worcester, Dean C., Coconut Growing in the Philippine Islands (Washington, DC: Bureau of Insular Affairs, 1911).

68 Abinales, “State Authority and Local Power,” 129–30.

69 Langhorne, Annual Report 1905, 34–35; “Davao a Promising Field,” Mindanao Herald, Apr. 15, 1905.

70 Bliss, Tasker H., The Annual Report of the Governor of the Moro Province, for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 1907 (Manila: Bureau of Printing, 1907), 3033.

71 “Davao Notes,” Mindanao Herald, Sept. 21, 1907; Pershing, Annual Report 1911, 17.

72 Bliss, Annual Report 1907, 35.

73 Suzuki, “Upholding Filipino Nationhood,” 274–90.

74 Anderson, Warwick, Colonial Pathologies: American Tropical Medicine, Race, and Hygiene in the Philippines (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2006), 130–57.

75 “Mindanao Troops May Be Relieved,” Manila Times, Feb. 14, 1903; “Philippinitis,” Twenty-Third Infantry Lantaka, Nov. 20, 1909.

76 Hurley, Vic, Southeast of Zamboanga (New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., 1935), 219–29.

77 Arthur Ruhl, “No Place for a White Man,” Saturday Review of Literature, June 1, 1935, 6.

78 Colby, Jason M., The Business of Empire: United Fruit, Race, and U.S. Expansion in Central America (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2011): 115.

79 George W. Davis to Adna R. Chaffee, Apr. 17, 1902, folder 1, box 1, George W. Davis Papers, United States Army Heritage and Education Center (Carlisle, PA). The plan remained a racist fantasy, although some years later the Mindanao Herald reported that Booker T. Washington was considering a proposition to bring a “large negro colony” from the United States to develop the resources of the Cotabato Valley—“The District of Cotabato,” Mindanao Herald, Feb. 3, 1909. Washington's ideas engaged with the global elsewhere. See Zimmerman, Andrew, Alabama in Africa: Booker T. Washington, the German Empire, and the Globalization of the New South (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2012), 2065.

80 “Land Laws Passed at Last,” Mindanao Herald, Dec. 3, 1905; “Wood Hopeful for Future,” Mindanao Herald, Mar. 3, 1906; “Armenians for Moroland,” Mindanao Herald, Dec. 23, 1905.

81 “Spirit of the Island Press,” Mindanao Herald, Apr. 15, 1905.

82 Atherton Brownell, “Turning Savages Into Citizens,” Outlook, Jan. 1911, 925–29; “The Subjugation of Moros and Pagans of the Southern Philippines through the Agency of their Moral and Industrial Development,” Sept. 11, 1912, folder 1, box 1, John P. Finley Papers, United States Army Heritage and Education Center (Carlisle, PA). For a discussion of the Moro Exchange, see Hawkins, Making Moros, 85–93. The Americans also experimented with convict labor in Zamboanga; see Leonard Wood to Tasker Bliss, Dec. 1, 1906, folder 68, box 15, Tasker Bliss Collection, United States Army Heritage and Education Center (Carlisle, PA); Langhorne, Annual Report 1905, 24; “Minutes of the Legislative Council of the Moro Province,” July 31, 1905–Apr. 16, 1906, folder 3, box 216, Leonard Wood Papers, Library of Congress.

83 John McAuley Palmer to Martin Geary, Mar. 4, 1907, folder 11, box 1, John McAuley Palmer Papers, Library of Congress; John McAuley Palmer to Tasker Bliss, Jan. 12, 1908, folder 11, box 1, John McAuley Palmer Papers, Library of Congress.

84 Charbonneau, “Civilizational Imperatives,” 202–53.

85 “Zamboanga a New El Dorado,” Mindanao Herald, Feb. 2, 1907; “Foul Murder on Basilan,” Mindanao Herald, Dec. 28, 1907; “The Basilan Murders,” Mindanao Herald, Jan. 4, 1908. The government responded by sending Army and Constabulary units to Basilan under the command of John Finley, who crushed resistance and established Moro Exchange markets on the island: “Brief Report on the Basilan Campaign,” 1908, folder 6, box 217, Leonard Wood Papers, Library of Congress. On the anti-colonial career of the pirate Jikiri, see Amirell, “Pirates and Pearls,” 44–67.

86 Hayase, Shinzo, “Tribes on the Davao Frontier, 1899–1941,” Philippine Studies 33 (Mar. 1985): 141–43.

87 Wood, Leonard and Bliss, Tasker H., Annual Report Department of MindanaoJuly 1, 1905 to June 30, 1906 (Manila: Bureau of Printing, 1906), 44; Ghost Dance resonances are explored in Gedacht, “'Mohammedan Religion Made it Necessary to Fire,'” 397–409.

88 Similar phenomena occurred in European colonies. See Adas, Michael, Prophets of Rebellion: Millenarian Protest Movements Against the European Colonial Order (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987), 183–90.

89 Edward Bolton to Arthur Poillon, May 31, 1906, folder 6, box 11, Frank R. McCoy Papers, Library of Congress; Orville Wood to Tasker Bliss, June 10, 1906, folder 28, box 15, Tasker Bliss Collection, United States Army Heritage and Education Center (Carlisle, PA); Leonard Wood to Tasker Bliss, June 14, 1906, folder 2, box 15, Tasker Bliss Collection, United States Army Heritage and Education Center (Carlisle, PA); “Mangalayan Meets Merited Doom,” Mindanao Herald, Aug. 25, 1906.

90 Peter G. Gowing, “Mandate in Moroland: The American Government of Muslim Filipinos, 1899–1920,” (PhD diss., Syracuse University, 1968), 511–12.

91 Quoted in Shayase, “Tribes on the Davao Frontier,” 143.

92 “Moros Are Impossible,” Mindanao Herald, Dec. 26, 1903. Even the more moderate education official and plantation owner Charles Cameron saw “extermination” as a possible outcome of anti-government unrest – Charles Cameron to David P. Barrows, Sept. 24, 1909, box 320, John J. Pershing Papers.

93 “Editorial Comment,” Mindanao Herald, Jan. 7, 1904; “Editorial Comment,” Mindanao Herald, July 2, 1904.

94 Richard Barry, “The End of Datto Ali,” Collier's Weekly, June 9, 1906.

95 “Editorial Comment,” Mindanao Herald, Nov. 24, 1906; Suzuki, “Upholding Filipino Nationhood,” 290–91.

96 Memorandum: “Emigration from Japan to the Philippine Islands,” Apr. 2, 1931, box 83, Frank R. McCoy Papers, Library of Congress; Abinales, Making Mindanao, 81–86; Dacudao and Yu, “Visible Japanese and Invisible Filipino,” 103–12; Yu, Lydia N., “World War II and the Japanese in the Prewar Philippines,” Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 27:1 (Mar. 1996): 6874.

97 “The Monkeys Have No Tails in Zamboanga,” unpublished memoirs, 1974, box 1, Charles F. Ivins Papers, United States Army Heritage and Education Center (Carlisle, PA).

98 Wernstedt, Frederick L. and Simkins, Paul D., “Migrations and the Settlement of Mindanao,” Journal of Asian Studies 25 (Nov. 1956): 9295; Abinales, “State Authority and Local Power,” 329.

99 Abinales, Orthodoxy and History, 185. Post-independence conflicts in Mindanao-Sulu have their corpus. Some examples include Casiño, Eric, Mindanao Statecraft and Ecology: Moros, Lumads, and Settlers Across the Lowland-Highland Continuum (Cotabato City, PI: Notre Dame University Press, 2000); Mckenna, Muslim Rulers and Rebels, 138–289; Vellema, Sietze, Borras, Saturnin, and Lara, Francisco Jr., “The Agrarian Roots of Contemporary Violent Conflict in Mindanao, Southern Philippines,” Journal of Agrarian Change 11 (July 2011): 298320; Tigno, Jorge V., “Migration and Violent Conflict in Mindanao,” Population Review 45 (2006): 2347.

100 Thomas McCormick, “From Old Empire to New: The Changing Dynamics and Tactics of American Empire” in McCoy and Scarano, Colonial Crucible: Empire in the Making of the Modern American State, 69.

101 The notion that Mindanao could be settled and developed by foreign populations persisted into the Commonwealth period. In the late 1930s, policy makers briefly entertained the island as a new homeland for the persecuted Jewish population of Germany. See Ephraim, Frank, “The Mindanao Plan: Political Obstacles to Jewish Refugee Settlement,” Holocaust and Genocide Studies 20 (Dec. 2006): 410–36.

102 Glazer, Sydney, “The Moros as a Political Factor in Philippine Independence,” Pacific Affairs 14 (Mar. 1941): 7879; Teopisto Guingona, “Development Plan for Mindanao-Sulu,” Feb. 23, 1934, folder 8, box 29, Joseph Ralston Hayden Papers, Bentley Historical Library (Ann Arbor, MI); Memorandum from Sergio Osmeña of the Nationalist Party, box 2, Edward Bowditch Papers, Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library (Ithaca, NY); Melencio, José P., Arguments Against Philippine Independence and Their Answers (Washington, DC: Philippines Press Bureau, 1919), 11.

103 Frymer, Building an American Empire, 6–10; The mutability of borders is also discussed in John, Rachel St., Line in the Sand: A History of the Western U.S.-Mexico Border (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2011), 138; Another fascinating example of a “failed” colony is found in Neagle, Michael, America's Forgotten Colony: Cuba's Isle of Pines (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016).

104 Håmålåinen, Pekka and Truett, Samuel, “On Borderlands,” Journal of American History 98 (Sept. 2011): 338.

105 On the role of colonial territories in national-imperial migrations see Kramer, Paul A., “The Geopolitics of Mobility: Immigration and Policy and American Global Power in the Long Twentieth Century,” American Historical Review 123 (Apr. 2018): 410–14.

106 “The Moro Territory,” Mindanao Herald, July 29, 1905.

“A New West in Mindanao”: Settler Fantasies on the U.S. Imperial Fringe

  • Oliver Charbonneau (a1)
  • Please note a correction has been issued for this article.

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