Page images

in certain harbors for naval and coaling stations. But the Samoans were more generous with the Germans, for they "granted to the energetic German representative concessions that appeared to be incompatible with the favored nation clause of the American treaty.''*

In 1884 Germany and Great Britain mutually agreed to respect the independence of Samoa, for the King of Samoa appealed to Great Britain for protection and alleged that the German treaty had been concluded under duress. In 1884 the unhappy Samoans, unable to secure just treatment from any of the great powers, voted to annex their island to New Zealand; but Great Britain forbade the consummation of this arrangement. The Germans continued their high-handed proceedings and the German consulgeneral went so far as to hoist the German flag at Mulinuu, January 23, 1885; but this act was disavowed by the German emperor.

The king of Samoa most generally recognized was Malietoa Talavoa and the treaties had been made with him. Talavoa died on November 7, 1880, and in March, 1881, Malietoa Laupepa, the vice-king, was appointed king. He proved too upright for the Germans, and they began a series of intrigues with a rival chief and the then viceking, Tamasese. They finally induced him to embroil the islands in another civil war, to the great detriment of

* Henderson, American Diplomatic Questions, p. 216; House Ex. Doc. No. 238, 50th Congress, 1st session.

American interests.* On May 14, 1886, the American consul at Apia (Greenebaume) hoisted the American flag and proclaimed a protectorate over Apia, an event which further complicated matters.†

In 1886, President Cleveland called the attention of Congress to the deplorable condition of the islands. He wrote: "Civil perturbations in the Samoan Islands have, during the last few years, been a source of considerable embarrassment to three Governments - Germany, Great Britain, and the United States-whose relations and extra-territorial rights in that important group are guaranteed by treaties." He said that the three governments had sent special agents to examine and report on the situation in the islands, and hoped that this " that this "change in the representation of all three powers and an harmonious understanding" would secure "the peace, prosperity, autonomous administration and neutrality of Samoa." Upon receiving the reports of their agents, the diplomatic representatives of the three governments signed a declaration that these three powers did not recognize Tamasese as king.||

* Snow, Treaties and Topics, pp. 398-405; Henderson, American Diplomatic Questions, pp. 217


Foster, American Diplomacy in the Orient,

p. 390.

In his annual message of December 6. See Richardson, Messages and Papers, vol. viii., pp. 503-504.

See the report of John B. Thurston, the British commissioner, House Er. Doc. No. 238, 50th Congress, 1st session, extracts of which are given in Snow, Treaties and Topics, pp. 398-406.


The United States now insisted that Great Britain and Germany enter a conference for the purpose of drafting a new treaty guaranteeing the independence of Samoa, using as a basis the report of the three agents abovementioned. A conference between delegates from the three powers interested was held at Washington in June and July, 1887. The German delegate proposed that a foreign advisor should control the government of the islands for a term of five years, and that this advisor be nominated by the power having the largest material interests in Samoa. Mr. Bayard made a counter proposition -to place the supreme authority in the hands of the king, the vice-king, and three foreigners, one from each of the great powers. No agreement could be reached, and on July 26th, the conference was suspended, but not abrogated.* As President Cleveland's term of office was now nearly at an end, the renewal of the conference did not take place till President Harrison had been inaugurated and Mr. Blaine had become Secretary of State.

On April 29, 1889, the suspended conference was resumed at Berlin, the representatives of Germany being

The report of the American representative, George H. Bates, is given in Foreign Relations for 1889, p. 237 et seq., and in House Ex. Doc. No. 238, 50th Congress, 1st session, the German version by Travers being also found in the same volume. Robert Louis Stevenson's Foot-note to History, pp. 1-243, contains some interesting facts regarding the early part of the Samoan imbroglio.

* Henderson, American Diplomatic Questions, pp. 228-232; Foster, American Diplomacy, p. 391; Snow, Treaties and Topics, pp. 407-409.


Count Herbert Bismarck Holstein and Dr. R. Krauel; of Great Britain, Sir Edward Malet, J. C. Crowe and Mr. Charles S. Scott; and of the United States, Mr. John A. Kasson, of Iowa, Mr. George H. Bates, and Mr. William W. Phelps, assisted by Consul Sewall and Lieutenants Buckingham and Parker. The result of this conference was a declaration by the three powers of the independence of the islands, and the creation of a supreme court to decide all disputes respecting titles to land. Malietoa was also restored to his station. The treaty, after being signed by King Malietoa and the British, German and American consuls, was duly ratified, exchanges being made at Berlin, April 12, 1890, and the treaty proclaimed May 21, 1890.* This treaty continued in force until abrogated by the treaty of December 2, 1899.

But before the conference met, disaster had overtaken the ships of war of Great Britain, Germany and the United States lying in the harbor of Apia. A furious storm broke over the islands on March 15, and wrecked the majority of vessels lying in the harbor. The Trenton and Vandalia (U. S.) became total wrecks, as did the Adler

*For the treaty see Snow, Treaties and Topics, pp. 417-422; Foreign Relations, 1889, p. 353; McPherson, Handbook of Politics, 1890, pp. 9197; Henderson, American Diplomatic Questions, pp. 250-257. See also Hamilton's Blaine, pp. 655-659; Foreign Relations, 1889, pp. 179–423; House Ex. Doc. No. 238, 50th Congress, 1st session; Senate Ex. Docs. Nos. 31, 68, 102; House Ex. Docs. Nos. 118, 119, 50th Congress, 2d session; Callahan, American Relations in the Pacific, p. 144.

and Eber (German), but the Nipsic (U. S.) and the Olga (German), escaped with little damage. The Calliope (British) succeeded in gaining open water and suffered no damage. This incident, however, had no effect on the outcome of the conference.

Other events had also taken place during these years.

In 1886, the statue,"Liberty Enlightening the World" by Bartholdi, was transferred to the United States by France. The cost of the statue was defrayed by public subscription throughout France and the pedestal on which the figure stands was completed by popular subscription in America. The statue, which stands in New York harbor, facing the east, is 151 feet high. It is a draped female figure crowned by a diadem, holding a tablet close to the body in the left hand, and a torch in the uplifted right hand, and standing upon a square pedestal 155 feet high, built of granite and concrete.

In 1886, the government made a strenuous effort to put an end to the practice of polygamy in Utah and many Mormons were tried and convicted, but the results of these efforts were not very far reaching. Several violent outbreaks occurred which were put down by United States troops. In 1887, Congress passed (the Senate, February 18, by a vote of 37 to 13, the House on the 17th, 203 to 40) an anti-polygamy bill known as

[blocks in formation]

the Edmunds-Tucker Act, which dissolved the Mormon Church as a corporate body and confiscated all its property in excess of $50,000 devoting it to public use."

During the night of August 31, 1886, the eastern portion of the United States was shaken by an earthquake, the heaviest shocks centering in and around Charleston, South Carolina. The city suffered a loss of property to the value of $8,000,000 and about 65 persons were killed. The

*For the history of these bills see McPherson, Handbook of Politics, 1882, pp. 51-56; 1884, pp. 179-185; 1886, pp. 166-174; 1888, pp. 33-38. In 1889 the Supreme Court rendered a decision in the case of Mormon Church vs. U. S. (136 U. S. 1, 42, 44) in which it said that the power of Congress over the territories is general and plenary; that the power to acquire territory is derived from the treaty-making power; and that a territory once acquired "Congress may legislate directly for its local government and has full and complete legislative authority over its people." In another Utah case (Murphy vs. Ram




sey, 114 U. S. 44), Mr. Justice Matthews said: "The People of the United States are sovereign owners of the national territories and have supreme power over them and their inhabitants. * But in ordaining government for the territories and the people inhabiting them, all the discretion which belongs to the legislative power is vested in Congress. * It rests with Congress to say whether in a given case any of the people resident in the territory shall participate in the election of its offices or the making of its laws; and it may, therefore, take from them any rights of suffrage it may previously have conferred, or at any time modify or abridge it as it may deem expedient. The personal and civil rights of the inhabitants of the territories are secured to them, as to other citizens, by the principle of constitutional liberty, which restrains the agencies of government, state and national. Their political rights are franchises which they hold as privileges under the legisla tive discretion of the Congress of the United States." For limitations on Congress see also Downes vs. Bidwell, 182 U. S. Reports, 244 (1901).



country generously responded to the calls for aid and the stricken city soon recovered from the calamity.

On March 23, 1888, Chief Justice Waite of the Supreme Court passed away at Washington, and in April, Melville Weston Fuller was appointed by President Cleveland to the vacant office. Justice Fuller's appointment was confirmed July 8, and he took the oath of office on October 8. A new department of the government was established in 1888, when, by an act approved June 13, the Department of Labor was created, the purpose of this branch of the government being "to acquire and diffuse among the people of the United States useful information on subjects connected with labor, in the most general and comprehensive sense of the word, and especially upon its relation to capital, the hours of labor, the earnings of laboring men and women, and the means of promoting their material, social, intellectual, and moral prosperity."

In 1889, four new stars were added to our flag when President Cleveland on February 22, signed a bill enabling Washington, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota to become States. By proclamations of President Harrison, North

Dakota and South Dakota were admitted November 2. Montana November 8, and Washington November 11.*

On May 31, 1889, occurred the Johnstown, Pa., flood. There had

* Richardson, Messages and Papers, vol. ix., pp. 20-26.


been heavy rains for several days causing the waters of an artificial lake thirteen miles above the town to rise to such an extent that on Friday afternoon the dam gave way under the strain, precipitating the entire volume of water into the Conemaugh valley, sweeping everything before it without warning till it reached the doomed town. The town was completely destroyed and about 2,200 people were swept into eternity. Millions of dollars were sent to the relief of the stricken city, not only from this country, but from European countries and even from Australia.

In 1885 and 1886, the Apache Indians caused much trouble in Arizona and New Mexico. New Mexico. These Indians had repeatedly surrendered to the United States authorities and had consented to live on reservations, but their longing for the old life of the plains was too strong to control and as often they broke loose again and ravaged the country for miles around. The last outbreak occurred in 1885 when, led by their chief, Geronimo, they renewed their depredations in these two territories. Captain Marion P. Maus set out in pursuit and succeeded in locating the band. General George Crook also gave chase and on March 25, 1886, forced Geronimo to make a stand at the Cañon de los Embudos. The band being entirely surrounded, Geronimo considered it inadvisable to make further resistance and on the 27th of that month again surrendered. He consented to surrender for two years only and stipulated further that

the band with their families were to be sent East and then replaced on the old reservation. Crook accepted these terms and the Indians surrendered, but on the march to Fort Bowie, the Indians slipped away and began their old forays again.

The subsequent criticism of Crook for being duped by the Indians caused his replacement by General Nelson A. Miles, who gave Geronimo no rest until he had been cornered and the band captured. The surrender occurred August 20, 1886. Captain H. W. Lawton and AssistantSurgeon Leonard Wood, under the direction of Miles, had followed Geronimo over a large section of the country and finally located him at the junction of the San Bernardino and Bavishe rivers, near the Mexican border. They telegraphed the situation to General Miles at Wilcox, Arizona, and he set out to receive the surrender which was effected on September 4.†

But this time it was decided to remove the wily chief to a place so far distant from the scenes of his depredations that it would be almost impossible for him to again start on his murderous career. So Geronimo and his warriors were sent to Fort Pickens, Florida, and the squaws and pappooses to Fort Marion, Florida. Two years later all the tribe were moved to Alabama, where they re

*Barrett, Geronimo's Story of His Life, pp. 126-138; Miles, Personal Recollections, pp. 445471.

Senate Ex. Docs. Nos. 111-125, 49th Congress, 2d session; Barrett, Geronimo's Story, pp. 140176; Miles, Personal Recollections, pp. 471-526.

mained from May, 1888, to October, 1894. During this time they made repeated efforts to be transferred to their old haunts, but Arizona, having once been rid of them, refused to receive them again and they were finally sent to Fort Sill, Oklahoma. There they now are to the number of about 300 and there Geronimo remained quietly until his death, February 17, 1909.

In 1890, the Sioux manifested unmistakable signs of an uprising. After Sitting Bull had surrendered to the United States forces (as recorded in a previous chapter) he remained quiet for a number of years. But in December, 1890, he and his band became hostile and troops were sent out to protect the white settlers. On December 15, as an extra precaution, Sitting Bull was made prisoner by the Indian police at Grand River, South Dakota, but his followers attempted to rescue him and in the ensuing struggle Sitting Bull and eleven others were killed. The hostile Indians were now pursued relentlessly and several conflicts took place. In a battle at Wounded Knee Creek, South Dakota, December 29, 30 soldiers of the Seventh Cavalry, including Captain George D. Wallace, were killed and 200 Indians also fell.

The Indians now took refuge in the Bad Lands, and threatened to attack all neighboring agencies. On January 2, 1891, General Miles was placed in command of the government troops and soon brought the Indians to a state of subjection. On January 15, the

« PreviousContinue »