Journal of E. Huntington Blatchford

Office of the Military Governor in the Philippine Islands, Manila, November 19, 1898

I have changed my office for a day or two, and am at present assisting Captain M——, General Otis’s aide. One of the clerks in his office is sick and until the new man is broken in, I am on hand to help. General Hughes made tender of my services to the Governor-General, and I am glad to be obliging to my General in this indirect way. My work here in the office has consisted wholly of typewriting—translations of letters and briefs of letters received. I think after my former mode of life I would find many weeks of this rather confining, but for a change I rather like it. General Otis keeps very long hours, getting to his office before eight and not leaving, as a rule, till after six, with no time for nooning. He expects his immediate clerks to be here all that time. Then he works all day Sunday, and while there is very little business done, still everybody must be on hand.

You will like to know that the weather is cooler, and that the dry season is due in a week or ten days. We have been having rain by the three and four days together. I am well as I could wish to be, and have had no suggestion of a return of malaria. We feel very serious concern for the Paris deliberations. It is practically settled, I suppose, that we keep the islands, but I do hope that the negotiations will be carried on not in a high-handed way on our side. If we are not able to stand victory and to be magnanimous
and generous I think we need a little defeat medicine. I have read with great interest two able utterances of an annexationist on this island problem. They made me realize that I had, in my thoughts, been giving too much weight to the suffering and sickness and death of our men, necessitated in the conquest and retention of these islands, and too little to the gains that would come to our commerce and to these Indians’ souls. I don’t know that I am quite an annexationist even now, but I think I see much more in the other side than I did.