SMITH, DECEMBER 18, 1899

While General Hughes was absent in the north, Negros again experienced social and political difficulties. On December 18, General Smith cabled from Bacolod, the capital of the island, tható

Three agents, Junta Hongkong, Candido Mortillo, Pedro Yunki, Mariano Villaneuva, arrived in Negros latter part of November with orders to stir up Negros, as its attitude was stumbling block to peace and aspirations of insurgents. They brought with them copies of Blumentritt's letter and word that absolute independence would be granted by Congress in December or January, and then let Negros beware. Planned general rising all pueblos for 2d December, and arrangements made with Panay to land force between Himamaylan and Pulupandan from Guimaras, and between Saravia and Manapla from Tenurian gunboats. Unable to prevent force of 86 from landing south of Miranda. Most of those in north were really driven out of Panay by General Hughes' advance, and nothing has been heard of them. Agents succeeded in getting Millicianos of Valladolid, Pulupandan, and Bago into field as part of general projected rising, and with 63 rifles and 320 Macheteros encountered Ledyard's scouting party, receiving such severe handling that they retreated to mountains, leaving 16 dead, and 1 of their chiefs on the field. The American corporal, after death of Ledyard, retired to Carlota without molestation. Many of Millicianos who were in this fight have deserted, some surrendering their arms, claiming to have been deceived; others in hiding. The 86 Tagals retreating for Guimaras assaulted, with connivance of people, 11 Americans in Ginigaran, but were defeated and chief captured. Town fined $10,000. All officials and principal citizens arrested. Valladolid, Pulupandan, and Bago also fined. Governor gone north, ostensibly to counsel peace. Believed he is in good faith; but am watching, although he has given good information. Two padres concerned in this trouble. What shall I do with them? American clergymen wanted here badly. Colonel Byrne in pursuit of Guimaras outfit. Tagals in north supposed to be in neighborhood of Manzanares, in mountains, with about 300 macheteros. In this island are some 2,000 Babaylanes and outlaws, largely bequeathed by Spain, but increased by present conditions. They have not as yet arrived at the bad dignity of insurgents. This influence from Panay necessitates 3 companies additional herein, inasmuch as Negros is now the objective of the Junta, and we have not only the duty of looking out for ourselves, but also of protecting our adherents in the pueblos. The danger here is from the ignorant people, who, of course, are in the majority, and are easily imposed upon by most improbable statements of designing persons. Our friends are naturally timid, and only come valiantly to our side when the storm has passed. Elections went off peaceably and quietly, every pueblo in existence in the island taking part, and full of enthusiasm. Only trouble that developed was close vote for governor, and that was left to judges and council to settle. The government is working earnestly and energetically without friction. All would be serene here if there was no outside interference, no landings of the dreaded Tagals, and no fear that Aguinaldo may come into power and punish Negros for what it has done. When the influential man fears these things, he ceases to be our earnest advocate, and the ignorant designing obtain the mastery until some deed of our arms gives confidence again. Bago, Pulupandan, and Bacolod have protested against present trouble, and civil government and meeting of prominent men request that all good citizens join in bringing about tranquillity.

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