Legislative Branch

Guide to Senate Records: Chapter 12 Philippines 1899-1921

Table of Contents

Chapter 12. Records of the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs and Predecessor Committees, 1816-1968

Records of the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs and Predecessor Committees, 1816-1988 from Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States

Committee records discussed in this chapter:
Records of the Committee on the Philippines, 1899-1921

12.62 The Committee on the Philippines was established on December 15, 1899, by Senate resolution, although the treaty of December 10, 1899, by which Spain had ceded the Philippines to the United States as part of the settlement of the Spanish-American War had not yet been ratified. At the time of the creation of the committee, the Philippines were in a state of civil turmoil that greatly concerned the Senate, where a debate raged between those who wished to extend U.S. sovereignty over the Filipinos and the so-called anti-imperialists. Like the Committee on Pacific Islands and Puerto Rico, the Committee on the Philippines focused on legal and economic matters: Philippine independence, administration by the Philippine Commission, and trade issues. Matters relating to the suppression of the Philippine insurrection were often referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations. In 1921, the Committee on the Philippines was terminated and jurisdiction over legislative matters concerning the Philippines was transferred to the newly created Committee on Territories and Insular Possessions.

Photograph of Senator George Hoar
Senator George Frisbie Hoar, Mass (Mathew Brady Studio), Records of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer (U.S. Army) from NARA's National Archives Catalog.  

12.63 Records of the committee (2 ft.) include committee papers, 1899-1919 (1 ft.), and petitions, memorials, and resolutions of various Government bodies that were referred to the committee, 1899-1920 with gaps (1 ft.). Legislative case files on bills and resolutions referred to the committee, 1901-21, are in the series of papers supporting specific bills and resolutions. The committee papers consist primarily of correspondence of Chairman Gilbert M. Hitchcock of Nebraska, 1913-18 (3 in., 63A-F21, 64A-F18, 65A-F15); various printed reports of the Philippine Commission; miscellaneous Senate resolutions relating to committee activities; and Presidential messages and executive communications, most of which were printed as House or Senate documents. Many petitions and memorials referred to the committee express anti-imperialist opinions, opinions that also were voiced by George F. Hoar of Massachusetts, the faction's leading spokesman in the Senate (56A-J30). About half of the petitions are protests from U.S. cigar makers against H.R. 3, 59th Cong., a bill to reduce the duty on cigars (59A-J84). Other petitions and memorials concern Philippine independence, prohibition, and a variety of trade issues.

Bibliographic note: Web version based on Guide to the Records of the United States Senate at the National Archives, 1789-1989: Bicentennial Edition (Doct. No. 100-42). By Robert W. Coren, Mary Rephlo, David Kepley, and Charles South. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1989.