Diary of John E.T. Milsaps

Saturday, April 8th, 1899

Manila, Luzon Island –Entry made in parlor of No. 2 Calle Santa Elena, Tondo.

Heavy black clouds threatening a storm rolled up today, but no storm followed save a slight fall of raindrops.

Felt quite tired from my yesterday’s trip to Malolos with resulting fast and heat. The heat of this country enervates. Started the day with Bible reading & prayer. Cooked my simple meals – breakfast & supper, made dinner of lemonade and dry bread. Washed dishes and cleaned up.

Wrote & copied 2 letters (1) to Lieut-Col. Alice Lewis, New York my 22d weekly letter (2) Chaplain H. Stull of the 1st Montana Vol. Inf. notifying him that 3 comrades of his regiment, Salvationists, want money paid over to me. I requested the Chaplain to name a place & time to meet him.

In the afternoon, past 3 o’ clock, Rev. Owens & myself proceeded to the post office when I rec’d quite a pile of War Cry and newspaper mail. A strange feature of this mail was a package containing 7 copies of the “American”, viz. No. 72 March 29th to No. 78 April 7th. This daily arrives very irregularly.

The Houston “Post” brings news that Houston is putting for the energetic efforts to be something of importance. One encouraging thing is the fact that the city voted $2,400 to the “Lyceum”, which is the only library approaching importance that Houston can boast of. About 2 years ago the Lyceum contained 9,000 volumes. Is a depository for U.S. Gov’t reports. The Lyceum was so poor when I passed thro’ Houston in that the lady librarian then in charge, hoped to sell a piano to raise money to purchase books. I called on her expressly to learn something about this organization a halfway public literary & self-improvement club. I owned quite a large private library which I was willing to give to the public, but did not care to trust it to the Lyceum as it was operated at that time. I am willing to give my collection of books, minerals, curios etc. to the public, providing the city takes charge of the same. If the Lord blesses my efforts I hope to have before a great while 2,000 bound volumes, besides hundreds of pamphlets. A collection not to be despised.

Rev. Owens & the writer visited Messrs. Glunz & Jackson, of the Christian Commission. The boys are now living in a room across the bridge of Spain, in the old ex-Spanish military barracks. I wanted 3 testaments for 3 men in Bilibid prison. Bro. Glunz gave me 21 copies. I purchased over $5 worth of food supplies today for my cubhoard, the same gets quite empty at times.

The S.F. weekly “Call” of 2d March says the European air is charged heavy with war electricity. Great preparations are under way secretly.

To me this has been a day of temptation.

Polished & cleaned some seashells & read papers.

The war situation is at a status quo. I fear the natives are set on fighting to a finish.