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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (April 5, 1901)
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VOL. I. ISO. II.
LINCOLN, NEBRASKA, APRIL 5, 1901.
$1.00 a Year
AiIlieim J. Bryan,
JEdltor and Proprietor
The Capture of Aguinaldo.
The most important event of last week was
the capture of Aguinaldo. General Funston
planned, and with the aid of a few Americans and
a number of natives, exeouted a brilliant and dar
ing plot for the trapping of the leader of the
Filipino forces. Learning of the whereabouts of
Aguinaldo, he organized a small band and arranged
with some friendly Filipinos to conduct the
Americans in the guise of prisoners through some
ninety miles of the enemy's country to the pres
ence of the chief, who was then taken into custody
by General Funston and conveyed to Manila.
The already famous Kausan displayed great
courage in the undertaking for he risked a double
danger the treachery of the natives who accom
panied him and the possibility of encountering a
It is difficult to t say 3vhat will -.bem the immedi
ate effect of the capture, but it is more than pos
sible that it will hasten the end of hostilities.
When the administration comes to deal with
its distinguished prisoner it will be compelled to
decide whether it is dealing with a rebellious
subject or with a foreigner who owes no alleg
iance to this government.
To treat Aguinaldo as a rebellious subject,
the administration must assert that a defeated
monarch can bargain, sell and convey title to the
subjects, and that a republic can first incite the
subjects of a monarch to rebellion, or assist them
in rebellion, then make allies of them and after
wards buy title to them Jrom the king whose
sovereignty. was disputed.
Aguinaldo has proven his ability as a leader
and his military genius; it remains to be seen
whether in prison he will continue to proclaim
the right of his people to independence or advise
his countiymen to submit to the conquest of their
country by an overwhelming force.
The question of imperialism is not settled by
the imprisonment of the commander-in-chief of
the native forces, nor will it be settled by the
surrender of all who are in arms. If the.Filipi
nos fail in their appeal to force there is still left
an appeal to the American conscience. The re
publicans have taken refuge behind the fact
that war existed and have tried to cry down criti
cism as unpatriotic; they have asked, "How can
we treat with people who arc shooting down our
soldiers?" Peace will multiply the embarrass
ments of the administration for it cannot long
conceal the real character of the civil government
which is to be imposed upon the Filipinos.
The war in the Philippines' has been an hind-
erance rather than an aid to those who have boon
resisting the introduction of European ideas and
methods of government into the United States.
The Future of Cuba.
A subscriber asks what position the demo-,
cratic party takes in regard to the annexation of
Cuba. The democratic party has not had occa
sion to take a position on this question. A dis
cussion of annexation at this time would be pre
mature; it would be like proposing to a widow at
the funeral of her husband. The United States
declared the Cubans entitled to independence
and went to war with Spain to enforce the decla
ration. To discuss annexation now would cast
suspicion on the good faith of the nation; neither
is there anything to be gained by raising that
No matter whether annexation is desirable or
undesirable, it is both right and expedient that
the Cubans should be given their independence.
If annexation is undesirable there can' be no ex
cuse for delaying independence; if, on the other
hand, annexation is desirable the granting of in
dependence will hasten it. Annexation to bo satis
f actory must be voluntary, and it. will never, be
voluntary unless the Cuban people have confidence
in and affection for the people of the United States.
And how can they have confidence in or affection
for the American people, if our nation violates its
promise and shows more interest in the franchises
secured by private syndicates than in the nation's
The imperialistic policy of the republican
party has induced the leaders to abandon the
peaceful and persuasive methods formerly em
ployed by our government, and to adopt the
harsher methods employed by arbitrary rulers.
As a result we are apt to lose the prestige which
a war for humanity gave us; by inspiring hatred
where we should have implanted love, we are apt
to make enemies of people who wanted to be
A Hopeful Sign.
The Ohio. State Journal, published at Colum-.
bus, is a strong republican organ, but it is far
sighted enough to see that the people are bound
to revolt ultimately against the great railroad
trust which is being organized. In an editorial
of some length it reviews the situation and con
cludes with a warning which will be read with
interest by those who have been pointing out the
evils of private monopoly while republican lead
ers, and even the republican newspapers to a large
extent, have seemed blind to them. The Journal
Every advance in railway rates is an additional
tax on productive industry, and that tax falls inevi
tably upon the consumer. If by this "community of
interest" the few immensely rich men who control
the transportation trust can bring the hundreds of
millions of dollars of water in the railroad capitali
zation of the country to the point where dividends
can be earned and paid upon it, they will have multi
plied their already vast fortunes directly at the ex
pense of the people of the United States.
This great railway trusts represents, in fact, one
of the gravest problems before the people of the United
States. Some plan must be devised for a closer and
more absolute control of the railways by tho nation
than now exists, or government ownership of tho en
tire railway system of the United States is not far
distant. The people of the United States will not
long consent to bo placed at tho mercy of any little
group of men. Tho men themselves may be as hon
orable, as honest and as just as it is possible for men
to be. Tho public will not consider that so much a
the menace which such a tremendous monopoly holds
for tho people.
In a word, tho near approach to completion of the
plans of tho great railway trust forces an Issue upon
tho people which grows tho moro it is studied, and
which promises to submerge and overwhelm all others.
Will the railway magnates consent to a close gov
ernment regulation of rates that will bo a genuine
protection to tho public against extortionate charge,
or will they pursue a policy that will force the Amer
ican people to take tho railways of tho nation under
national ownership and control? The answer to the
question cannot long bo deferred.
Severe But True.
A republican reader of this paper complains
that it criticises republican policies and republi
can leaders too severely. I am glad to have re
publicans read This Commoner. I have faith in
the honesty and good intention of the errcat ma
jority of the members of all parties and am anx-s
ious to convince rather than to offend, but severe
criticism is necessary because the republican lead
ers have grievously offended against our princi
ples of government and against the interests ov
ino peopie. iz is iue auty or a newspaper lostai
facts and it is its right to draw conclusions from
tho facts and to point out the influences which con
trol public officials.
Nothing is published in The CosraroNER un
less it is believed to be true, and any mistake a.
to a fact or any injustice done to a person will be
gladly corrected. If any republican reader
doubts tho truth of any statement made in Tub
Commoner let him investigate and ascertain the
facts. If I am in error I will make acknowledge
ment of tho same; if I am not in error, let him
have the candor to admit his mistake.
On tho second day of April, 1743, Thomas
Jefferson was born and his life of eighty-three
years spanned an important epoch in the nation's
At the age of thirty-one he .drafted the ad
dress to the king, setting forth the rights of the
colonists. Two years later, at the ago of thirty
three, he wrote the Declaration of Independence,
and for fifty years thereafter, until his death on
July 4, 1820, he was the greatest champion of
human rights in all the world.
His service as a representative in state and
federal legislatures, as governor of Virginia, am
bassador to France, secretary of state under
Washington, vice-president under Adams, and
president, together with his service in minor
offices, covered more than forty years of his event
ful career. But the work which he did for man
kind was so far-reaching in its effect and so en
during in its character that he is remembered
for his ideas rather than for the positions which
Ho was the greatest constructive statesman
known to history. His birth aud environment
were such as might naturally have made him
an aristocrat, but he became the greatest demo-