Thursday, November 17th, 1898

Was awakened in the night by an increasing oppression in breathing, and before morning found myself in an old fashioned asthmatic spasm, the first real one I have had for nearly two years. For two or three hours the distress was so great that I was extremely glad when Dr. Clarke turned up. He immediately added to his previous prescriptions, and promised me quite positively better rest the next night.

Kept shut up all day, but attended the usual meeting of the Commissioners in my room, The translation of the Spanish paper was read throughout. It proved extraordinarily prolix, and in various particulars rather offensive. They were especially stirred up by the passage which I had contributed to our last paper, and made many little efforts to display their temper. They were more offensive to Judge Day, since they succeeded in getting something tangible with reference to his part of the paper, producing some passages from Cambon’s notes which did not fully sustain Judge Day’s versions of the transactions preceding the protocol. They had also some vicious slaps at the portion of our paper contributed by Senator Davis. The reading was heard in comparative silence, and Senator Gray did not repeat upon it, at its close, the eulogium which he had expressed to me the day before. My own feeling was that the whole paper was unblushingly disingenuous and almost incredibly contentious and pettifogging. Judge Day asked me especially to prepare a memorandum for the next paper, setting forth in detail our reasons for taking the Philippines. I remarked that I should also reply to one or two passages in this one. We had already prepared a proposal presenting quite fully our demands as to Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines in the form of an ultimatum. When these were agreed upon, we should be ready to proceed to treat with reference to the acquisition of an island in the Carolines, religious liberty, “the open door,” etc. This had been telegraphed to Washington and approved. It was now agreed that our reply to the present Spanish paper should precede it, and that the Spaniards should be distinctly advised that this was the end. . . .

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