Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

United States Consul at Singapore E. Spencer Pratt to Commodore George Dewey, Commander, Asiatic Squadron

From U.S. Consul General, Singapore.

To Commander in Chief.

through Consul ,Hongkong.1

Date Singapore, April 24.

Subject Aguinaldo.

Received Hongkong April 24, 1898.

Aguinaldo2 insurgent leader here.

Will come Hongkong arrange with Commodore for general co-operation insurgents Manila if desired.3

Telegraph.

          Pratt.

Source Note: CyC, DLC-MSS, PGD.

Footnote 1: United States Consul at Hong Kong RounsevelleWildman.

Footnote 2: Emilio Aguinaldo y Famy was a Filipino insurgent leader living in exile. The Spanish government gave him a bribe of 400,000 Mexican pesos and the promise of reforms meant to achieve equality between white Europeans and native Filipinos to convince him to voluntarily leave the Philippines, which he did on 14 December 1897. Aguinaldo continued his work on behalf of Filipino independence from abroad, but did not reconstitute the uprising. Loose bands of local insurgents - after the promised social reforms never materialized - constituted the Filipino rebellion, which was in full swing when the Americans arrived on 1 May 1898. Trask, War with Spain, 395-97. 

Footnote 3: Historian David Trask wrote that Aguinaldo joining a the war at all was “one of those extraordinary strokes of fortune that alter the course of history.” Aguinaldo happened to be in Singapore because the ship he was taking to Europe stopped there on 21 April 1898. He paid a visit to an Englishman, and friend of the insurgency, named Howard Bray. Bray had been providing United States Consul E. Spencer Pratt with intelligence on the Philippines and introduced Aguinaldo to Pratt. Trask, War with Spain, 399. For Dewey’s response, see: Dewey to Pratt, 24 April 1898.

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