Mr. Bayard to Mr. Strobel.

No. 218.]

Sir: Referring you to No. 217 of the 2d instant, concerning the case of Rev. Mr. Doane, the American missionary arrested by the authorities of the Philippine Islands, I now transmit additional information contained in a further letter of Mr. Smith of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, of which you will make the proper use.

I am, etc.,

T. F. Bayard.
[Inclosure in No. 218.]

Mr. Smith to Mr. Bayard.

Dear Sir: I have this morning received the important information contained in the inclosed copies of letters relating to the case of Rev. E. T. Doane and his imprisonment by the Spanish authorities at Ponape, of the Caroline Islands; and I make haste to send it to you for your use in the correspondence between your Department and the Court at Madrid. I will add brief explanations of these letters.

  • No. 1 is a copy of portions of a letter written by Mr. Doane, after his imprisonment, addressed to Rev. L. H. Gulick, D. D., of Shanghai, China, the agent of the American Bible Society in China, and for some years an associate of Mr. Doane in missionary work on Ponape. The statements of this letter are very important, as explaining the origin of the trouble and the nature and utter groundlessness of the charges.
  • No. 2 is the reply of Dr. Gulick to Mr. Doane’s letter, and is valuable as showing Dr. Gulick’s judgment about the charges, his estimate of Mr. Doane, and the confidence he entertains in the purpose and readiness of our Government to see to it that justice is done to Mr. Doane, and that the stipulations which were made when the sovereignty of the Caroline Islands was in dispute are now respected.
  • No. 3 is Dr. Gulick’s communication to the rear-admiral of the Asiatic Squadron, asking him either to send a gunboat at once to Manila to inquire into the case, or to inquire of the authorities at Washington their pleasure in the case.

I shall look, at an early day, for a communication from Mr. Doane, making full certified statements of the facts in the case from first to last, which I shall immediately place at your disposal.

I do not doubt that our Government will deem it appropriate, indeed incumbent upon them, to take occasion from these events to secure a definite and full understanding with the Government at Madrid as to the standing of the American missionaries now residing in the Caroline Islands and the relations of their work to the Spanish control in those islands. These events connected with Mr. Doane, occurring within a month of the arrival of the governor at Ponape, show the imperative necessity of such an understanding. And there cannot be any difficulty in securing from the Spanish Government all needful recognition of this missionary work and all needful guarantees that it shall be uninterrupted and protected, and the American missionaries respected in the peaceful discharge of their Christian and philanthropic work. The missions of the board in the Turkish Empire enjoy such recognition from the Mohammedan Government at Constantinople. The missions of this board in China receive protection and definite rights from the Imperial Government at Peking. It is not possible that the Christian Government of Spain will fall below the courtesy and toleration of the Mohammedan and the heathen nations of the world. Indeed one of the missions of our board is established within the limits of the Kingdom of Spain itself, and for years has prosecuted its work there. And will Spain now suffer its authority to be used in any way, directly or indirectly, to interfere with that benevolent work of our missionaries in the Caroline Islands, which has yielded only good results and has done more than all things else to make these islands valuable in the eyes of the European powers?

It stands within the power of our Government now to secure ample indemnity for this treatment of Mr. Doane, and to make any similar interference with the work of American missionaries in those islands impossible. The missionaries in Micronesia, American citizens, expect this; the officers and members of this board expect it; the public sentiment of the country expects it and will heartily sustain it; the protestant powers of Europe will expect it and will fully justify it. And the Government at Madrid cannot stand out against such reasonable requests, even if so inclined. I feel a great confidence that the gravity of the situation will be clearly discerned by you, that the wide bearings of the present action will be recognized, and that the course prescribed by national honor, and a steadfast regard to the rights of American citizens, and respect for religious liberty, will be followed steadfastly to a happy conclusion.

I am, etc.,

Judson Smith,
Foreign Secretary American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions.

The most important parts of Rev. M. T. Doane’s letter to Rev. L. H. Gulick.

Dear Brother: Sixty-seven years of age and in prison. What will my friends think of that? * * *

The first charge against me by the governor was regarding a protest I wrote him protesting against his taking some mission lands. I used the word “arbitrary” not in a bad sense, but simply with the idea of doing the thing alone, not allowing me any opportunity to bring in witnesses. The ruler was offended. I was sorry, for, as I said, it was not meant to offend; but he says he was. I was imprisoned on board the steamship for fifteen days, but just as my term expired I received a note, saying I was to remain on as a prisoner. No charge specific made. And thus I have remained one whole month. * * *

On learning the Spanish were at Yap, letters were sent from a trading house here to the agent at Yap, reporting that the American missionaries were insulting the Spanish flag. * * * Naturally when the Spanish heard this they were indignant as well as surprised. They have since seen it to be the basest of lies. * * *

Another story, freely circulated, was, that we, myself especially, were interfering with trade—telling natives not to trade with certain traders. * * * It is all false. * * *

For years we have been accustomed to hold prayer meetings of a public nature on different parts of the island. Some little time before the advent of the Spanish we had held three. Many high chiefs and kings joined the church. At once the story was started that we were gathering our forces, arming them ready for the [Page 402] Spanish. Indeed it was circulated that the twelve churches we have on the island, with nearly a thousand members, had all been worked up within the few past months, so that the Catholics should not get a foothold; and yet for thirty-five years have we been working to reach this point. What a falsehood! For weeks and weeks after I was arrested, native chiefs and kings were ordered into the presence of the governor and questioned about these meetings—for what held, what I taught, etc. The uniform answer was, they were simply prayer meetings, to pray for Ponape, that God’s kingdom might come.

One put in this complaint against us, that once on a time he had $8 in cash, stolen from his house; that a Christian native at that time was near; he was suspected; that I was informed, but was afterward heard to say, “We must not punish church members for stealing.” Such a story has its force.

One complained of me, but he said it was about the only thing he had against me, that I refused to baptize his babe.

I am accused, as a matter of course, of living a, sort of Mormon life.

Another story was that we missionaries have possessed ourselves of much land, which embittered the governor so that the very first word he ever spoke to me personally was “you are a bad man.” And so, evidently, he has ever since regarded me. * * *

P. S.—Since writing the above, some sad things have turned up. On June 16 I was sentenced to be deported to Manila for trial. We are en route for that place now. Left Yap a day or two since, touched there, spent four days. Mrs. Rand and daughter were with me, also a Mr. Bowker, a young man from Illinois, of good character, who goes with me as witness to some things. Some time since the governor professed to open a day for receiving charges for and against myself. The missionaries and friendly foreigners put in two valuable papers. The rowdy element did nothing but drink, then a few days after they got up as early as I can find out, the following charges. I will just give them but not remark upon them:

  • First. I am charged with putting a girl into irons. Absolutely false.
  • Second. I am charged with telling natives at Kiti and Metalamin to arm themselves, and take the steamship Manila—that an American man-of-war would come to our rescue. On its face the falsehood, shines out.
  • Third. I am charged with getting Christian natives to pray the vessel might sink or be wrecked.
  • Fourth. I am charged with interfering with trade or business of a German house, and that of another foreigner.
  • Fifth. I am charged with storing in my house guns to pass to the natives to fight the Spanish with.

There are other charges, but they are not worth reporting. These charges the governor has now accepted, notwithstanding the papers the members of the mission and others put in. And for these I am sent to Manila. What will be the upshot I know not. I shall at once see the American consul. Were this matter tried out on Ponape I have not a shadow of a doubt but that every charge could be shown to be most false. But this the governor does not want. He means to get me as far from all witnesses as possible. * * *

Yours, etc.

E. T. D.

Mr. Gulick to Mr. Doane.

Dear Mr. Doane: Your painfully interesting letter written partly on your voyage to Manila, and mailed without date at Manila, is at hand. It is astounding intelligence which you communicate. None who know you as we of old missionary days know you for a moment believe the charges against you, and we will do all we can to assist you in vindicating yourself. I have already to-day sent you by telegram the sum of $300, and I inclose a letter of credit for $700. You can draw on the letter as you may need the money, from time to time.

Do not hesitate to use all this if necessary in getting all the personal comforts, and all the aid available for securing full justice. I advance the money, trusting the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions will reimburse all expenses incurred in your case, as undoubtedly they will.

We all hope that you will be treated by the authorities of Manila with the consideration due to your age, character, and position, and that full justice will be clone you, and the mistaken action of the local governor be reversed.

You will, of course, be very careful to have made forthwith as clear and full written statements of your case as possible and sworn to before Mr. Tucker, United States vice-consul, to be forwarded at once to your society and to the Department at Washington. Your case will undoubtedly come before the Governments of Spam and the United States, and it is very important that the case be fully and accurately stated.

[Page 403]

It is not only yourself but all your fellow missionaries and your Missionary Society that are involved, which you will of course bear in mind in any proposed settlement of the case, though it is a question whether the matter can now be settled by any but the highest authorities of the two Governments. If there be any difficulty in getting the fullest reversal of unjust judgments against you, by all means refer the case to your Society, and through the vice-consul to the United States Government, who you may be assured will all take the deepest interest in the matter. In any event, be sure and send full reports to Boston, as they will know best what to do.

As you say nothing about your health, I trust it is good, and that you will successfully hold out under this stress. Take all the care of yourself that the authorities will allow and money provide—it will be far the best way in the end. Don’t imagine yourself so unimportant as not to warrant such care and expense, and be assured that the whole Christian world will be interested in your case, and will pray that these untoward events may redound to the increase of the Christian cause we all love.

I have advised with General Kennedy, the consul-general of the United States to China, who has read and approved what I have above written, and he bids me to suggest to you to urge Vice-Consul Tucker, representative of the United States at Manila, to take prompt and immediate steps to secure a reversal of the action of the authorities against you. I have also, at his suggestion, written to Admiral Chandler, commander of our Asiatic squadron, that (if he has no power to act independently in the matter) he may communicate with his superiors in Washington regarding your unfortunate situation. I know of no one here to whom I could go for advice, save to our good friend General Kennedy, the consul-general of the United States for China, whose official province does not, however, include the Philippine Islands.

You must plan to come up to Shanghai as soon as possible, and make us a good long visit. It will do us good.

I will write again soon, but meantime be assured of my warmest sympathy. That the Lord may be your reward and your defense, is the earnest prayer of

Yours, affectionately,

L. H. Gulick.

Mr. Gulick to Admiral Chandler.

Rear-Admiral Ralph Chandler,
Commanding Asiatic Squadron, Yokohama, Japan:

Sir: As it is probable that you have not yet been informed of the following facts, I do but my simple duty in putting you in possession of them. It is a case which is destined to tax heavily the attention of the United States and of Spain.

The Rev. E. D. Doane is a missionary of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, Boston, Mass.—a society mainly sustained by the Congregational churches of the United States of America, and the oldest foreign missionary society in that country.

For now thirty-five years this Society has carried on missionary work in the Caroline Islands, which has also extended to the Marshall and Gilbert Islands. Whatever Christianity and civilization is now found in those groups is due to the efforts of a number of American missionaries, coöperating with native missionaries from the Sandwich or Hawaiian Islands. Mr. Doane is now the oldest American missionary in all those islands, nearly seventy years of age, having been in missionary work there for thirty years, greatly honored by his Society and the churches with which he is connected, and beloved by multitudes of natives. He has for many years been stationed on Ponape, of Ascension Island, latitude 7° N. and longitude 158° E.

When last year the Spanish took possession of Ponape, in common with the rest of the Caroline Islands, in accordance with the decision of the Pope, as against the claims of Germany, Mr. Doane was a medium of communication between the Spanish authorities and the native chiefs. Mr. Doane was at that time treated with such consideration by the commander of the Spanish vessel of war that it was hoped the relations between the Spanish governor and the Protestant churches would be promotive of the interests of both parties.

During the interval, however, between that visit and the arrival this year of the Maria de Molina, there has been a combination of various interests adverse to religion and morality, with special efforts to break Mr. Doane’s influence. I have not [Page 404] yet a very detailed account of the events which have taken place since the arrival of the newly-appointed governor, but it appears that Mr. Doane protested against his taking possession of certain mission lands, and on the 14th of April the governor imprisoned him on board the Maria de Molina.

Absurd and frivolous charges were made by the disaffected parties, such as that Mr. Doane had gotten possession of much land, whereas the missionaries own no land at all as individuals; that he had put a girl in irons; that he had advised the natives to arm themselves and take the Spanish steamer; that he had influenced the natives to pray that the Spanish vessel might sink or be wrecked; that he had hauled down the Spanish flag; that he had furnished the natives with munitions of war; and that he had interfered with trade.

Counter statements were made, drawn up both by the missionaries themselves and by certain of the foreign residents, but they did not prove sufficient, and after two months imprisonment on the Maria de Molina, Mr. Doane was sentenced to be deported to Manila for trial. A Mr. Bowker, of Illinois, not a missionary, accompanied Mr. Doane as a witness in his favor—his only witness so far as I know; the vessel touched at Yap and must have arrived at Manila not far from the 8th of July; from there the letter was mailed which has given me the above information. It is evident that Mr. Doane will need all the aid and sustenance that can be given him in his very disadvantageous circumstances of imprisonment, far from friends and from authorities able to see that justice is done him.

When two years ago the question of the possession of the Caroline and Marshall islands was in moot between Spain and Germany, the Secretary of State of the United States Government informed both Germany and Spain that whichever government took those islands the United States would expect that her interest in them, as having been the field of missionary efforts of many years by American missionaries, would be carefully conserved; and it is not to be supposed that the United States will now calmly acquiesce in any injustice to those who look to her for protection.

It is not for me to say what assistance may be rendered him by your Department of authority; but as the Philippine Islands are not in the territory covered by the United States authorities accredited to China, I should evidently be derelict in my duty to the United States Government, no less than to yourself and to my friend Mr. Doane, and to the interests of the missionary society with which he is connected, did I not give you the information which probably I alone possess in all this region, and which I cannot but hope may seem to you to render it advisable that a United States vessel of war be ordered with dispatch to Manila, for the sake at least of getting full information regarding the case.

I do not know how far it may be in your power to take cognizance of this matter, but I feel assured, from what I have heard, that everything pertaining to the honor of our country, and the welfare of her citizens will meet prompt attention on your part, and that, in the event of your not having power to act, you will do our distressed fellow-citizen the great favor of communicating with the authorities in Washington.

I have, etc.,

L. H. Gulick,
Agent American Bible Society to China.

P. S.—I enclose a copy of the more important parts of Rev. E. T. Doane’s last letter to me, certified to before Gen. Kennedy, the consul-general of the United States of America.

L. H. Gulick.