The Benevolent Assimilation Proclamation was a declaration of policy of the United States towards the Philippines, following the signing of the Treaty of Paris which ended the Spanish-American War.

It was signed on December 21, 1898 by Pres. William Mckinley upon arriving in Washington, after his long trip to the southern states.

Benevolent Assimilation Proclamation

On December 27, 1898, Mckinley decided to rush the proclamation to the Philippines. He did not want to await the slow process of mail. He cabled the Benevolent Assimilation to Otis in full, and in cipher, though it consisted of something like one thousand words.

Mckinley cables Otis, sending Benevolent Assimilation Proclamation

Otis said the cable was under the date of December 28, 1898, he must be referring to the day he received it in Manila.
Benevolent Assimilation Proclamation (altered version)

Since the proclamation was long and in cipher, it took a while to translate into readable form.

Finally on December 29, 1898, the translation was finished.

It so happened that a British warship, the H.M.S. Bonaventure was scheduled to depart Manila the next day for Iloilo. The British skipper, Capt. Montgomerie had offered Otis to bring any communications he may have to Miller in Iloilo.

Otis decided to grab the opportunity. Only one hour after the cable was deciphered, he hastily prepared a letter for Miller. He enclosed the Benevolent Assimilation Proclamation.

Otis was rushing the proclamation to Miller so that Miller would understand the position and policy of the U.S. Government towards the Philippine Islands. But because of the rush, he didn't have the time to consider the probable effect of its content. Nor did he consider the possibility that it may be published, so no direction was made for its publication or non-publication.

"I did not have time to consider its probable effect." - Otis
Otis to Miller, Jan 15 1899

He sent his letter, and the Benevolent Assimilation Proclamation, that evening to Capt. Montgomerie.

Otis writes Miller, enclosing Benevolent Assimilation Proclamation

H.M.S. Bonaventure arrived in Iloilo on January 1, 1899, bringing Otis' letter and Mckinley's cablegram (the Benevolent Assimilation Proclamation.)

Since no message was received prohibiting publication of the proclamation, Miller was under the impression that it was transmitted so it can be published.

So as soon as Miller received it, he wrote a letter to Roque Lopez of the Estado Federal de Bisayas, enclosing the proclamation. He also published the proclamation.

The content of Benevolent Assimilation was let loose.

Miller writes Roque Lopez of the Estado Federal de Bisayas, enclosing Benevolent Assimilation Proclamation

Meanwhile in Manila, after considering the content of the Benevolent Assimilation Proclamation, Otis figured that as the proclamation was written, he would be expecting resistance from Filipinos.

Although Otis was instructed to publish the Benevolent Assimilation Proclamation, he cabled Mckinley that he hadn't yet as now is not the opportune time, maybe it will be in two or three days, but Miller already had a copy.

Otis to Washington, Jan 2 1899

"As soon as i could do so (consider its probable effect) I cabled washington that it would not be published, as the time was not opportune." - Otis
Otis to Miller, Jan 15 1899

James H. Blount, 29th Infantry (must be 29th Inf U.S.V.) provided an assessment of what words were controversial.

Benevolent Assimilation Proclamation (Blount)

Otis decided to tone down the proclamation by removing words that could spark controversy, debate, or hurt the sentiments of Filipinos.

He altered the Benevolent Assimilation Proclamation.

Otis amends Benevolent Assimilation Proclamation

"After some deliberation we put out one of our own which it was believed would suit the temper of the people." - Otis
Otis to Miller, Jan 15 1899

Otis then published his altered version on January 4, 1899 in Manila.

Benevolent Assimilation Proclamation (altered version)

Otis cabled Mckinley that he had now provided the Proclamation to Filipinos, to be issued today.

Otis to Washington, Jan 4 1899

The following day, January 5, 1899, Aguinaldo responded to the altered version published by Otis.

Response of Aguinaldo to Benevolent Assimilation Proclamation

When Otis prepared his altered version, Miller in Iloilo immediately came to mind. Miller had the original version, and he might publish it.

Otis sent Potter that same day, January 4, 1899 to Iloilo.

Potter arrived in Iloilo on January 6, 1899. But he was too late.

Miller informed Otis that he had already sent a letter, enclosing the original version of the proclamation to Roque Lopez of the Estado Federal de Bisayas. He also had published the proclamation.

"I sent to the Governing Committee, R. Lopez, President, a copy of the letter of instructions of the President ... I had copies of the President's instructions translated into Spanish, distributed to the people in different ways" - Miller
Miller to Otis, Jan 6 1899

"am informed that the people laughed at it" - Miller
Miller to Otis, Jan 6 1899

By this time, Miller hadn't received a reply from Lopez yet about the Benevolent Assimilation Proclamation, nor was he expecting one.

However, on January 9, 1899, Roque Lopez replied to Miller, responding to the Benevolent Assimilation proclamation.

Lopez replies to Miller, responding to the Benevolent Assimilation Proclamation

Miller replied on January 11, 1899
"regret very much your final conclusion does not conform to the order of the President of the United States, which announces sovereignty over all these islands. You must rest assured in the end that the sovereignty will be maintained, whatever obstructions may temporarily intervene. The President is very desirous for the people of the Philippine Islands to accept the authority of the United States as friends, and without compulsion." -Miller
Miller to Lopez, Jan 11 1899, First Letter

Meanwhile, Otis wrote Miller, admonishing Miller's publication of the Benevolent Assimilation Proclamation.

" I sent you the President's proclamation, not for publication, but for your information, simply."
Otis to Miller, Jan 15 1899

Since the idea of altering the Proclamation hadn't come up yet when Otis sent it to Miller, it is wrong to say that Otis failed to tell Miller, when he sent it, that there was an altered version.

Likewise, it is also wrong to say that Miller was unaware there was an altered version when he shared/published it, because it would take three more days (from January 1, 1898) before Otis would publish his altered version.

The correct statement would be that Otis failed to consider the proclamation's probable effect, and at that point, publishing it would not be an issue, so he failed to instruct Miller whether it should be published or not.