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Abraham Lincoln's Interpretation
Declaration of Independence,
COMMEMORATIVE OF THE SIGNING OF WHICH THE FOURTH OF JULY IS A NATIONAL HOLIDAY.
I think the authors of that notable instrument intended to include all men, but they did not intend to declare all men equal in all respects. They did not mean to say all were equal in color, size, intellect, moral developments or social capacity. They defined with tolerable distinctness, in what respects they did consider all men created equal-equal with "certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." This they said and this they meant. They did not mean to assert the obvious untruth, that all were then actually enjoying that equality, nor yet that they were about to confer it immediately upon them. In fact, they had no power to confer such a boon. They meant simply to declare the right, so that the enforcement of it might follow as fast as circumstances should permit.
They meant to set up a standard maxim for free society, which should be familiar to all, and revered by all; constantly looked to, constantly labored for, and even though never perfectly attained, constantly approximated, and thereby constantly spreading and deepening its influence and augmenting the happiness and value of life to all people of all colors everywhere. The assertion that "all men are created equal," was of no practical use in effecting our separation from Great Britain; and it was placed in the Declaration not for that but for future use. Its authors meant it to be as, thank God, it is now proving itself, a stumblingblock to all those who, in after times, might seek to turn a free people back into the hateful paths of despotism. They knew the proneness of prosperity to breed tyrants, and they meant when such should reappear in this fair land and commence their vocation, they should find left for them at least one hard nut to crack.
Abraham Lincoln in address delivered at Sprindfield, Ill., June 26th, 1857.
THE SAMOAN SITUATION.
If German reports are to be A Religious relied upon the trouble in Samoa between the natives is really a religious war; the missionaries have stirred up all the trouble. It seems, from German authority, that a vast majority of the natives are Catholics and they demand that Mataafa be their King and, in accordance with what they believed to be right have elected him. The English and American missionaries, believing that the Protestants would not receive fair treatment, set about to set up a Protestant King in the person of Tanus. They were supported in this action by the British and American Chief Justice and the "war "followed. The Germans are not afflicted with much religion and were opposed to the Powers interfering with Mataafa.
So many conflicting stories come from Apia, and American news is so severely censored, that one can depend on nothing as positively reliable.
stand against the acts of Admiral Kautz. In the San Francisco Argonaut she says:
"In Samoa, instead of backing up the most powerful chief, which is Mataafa, who was unanimously elected by all the great districts of the three islands, we have, for some inscrutable reason, set up a young boy, an adopted son of old Malietoa, fresh from the hands of the missionaries, and forced him, with quick-firing guns and powerful men-of-war, upon an unwilling people. Old Mataafa, the patriot king, is loved, and feared, and venerated by all Samoa. He is of royal blood, and carries the great names of Tui'aana and Tui'atua; he is the brother of Malietoa, and his rightful heir. The Samoans are naturally a kindly race, but the bungling of the white officials has at last exasperated them; all they asked for-and they did it most respectfully, though firmly was to to be allowed to elect their own king. They did not fight until the boy Tanu was crowned at Mulinuu by a small number of white men.
When one reads of " American interests in Samoa," it sounds very grand,
but in point of fact there are only diet, and to the fact that they do not
eighteen Americans in all Samoa, and that is counting three Seventh Day Adventists, five Mormon missionaries, a naturalized German, and two half-cast children. It is impossible to get up a purely American entertainment for the Fourth of July in Samoa. With the greatest difficulty, eight or ten Americans can be gathered together, but as these are not on speaking terms with each other, our national celebrations were seldom successful. At the present moment the most prominent American there, Mr. H. J. Moors, is a prisoner in his own house (on account of his being a Mataafa supporter), and his hotel, the Tivoli, is mined with dynamite. Mr. Moors has lived for thirty years in Samoa, and knows the country and the people better than the officials who are siding with Tanu can possibly know them; Chief Justice Chambers has been in the islands not quite two years; the American and English Consuls are new to the country; and even Herr Rose, who has been a resident longer than any of the other officials, and speaks the language fluently, has been there less than four years.
“The Samoans are a haughty and reserved race of people, and it takes some time to know and understand them, Natives,' to Americans, suggests Indians, Mexicans, or negroes; to the English it suggests East Indians and Zulus; the Samoan is like none of these. A white woman can go about the island alone and unprotected, and meet with consideration everywhere. They are kind to their own women, protect and train their children, for the sick and aged, and in their family life are affectionate and kind. The women are modest and virtuous. The Samoans are increasing in population, owing to their clean living and simple
drink liquor of any kind. Their own ava is a mild beverage, about as stimulating as strong coffee. In Samoa it is absolutely innocuous, though in Hawail and the other islands the natives drink it green, mixed with the powdered root of the ti plant, making it more of an opiate, only that it goes to the feet instead of to the head.
"The Samoan is reserved but courteous to strangers, very faithful in friendship, and never forgets a kindness nor an obligation. Nine years we lived among them. Our house was three miles from town, there were no white people near us, and yet our doors and windows always stood wide open. During the war between Malietoa and Mataafa, when our house was between the two forces, and bands of warriers came and went through our grounds, we never took the precaution of locking up valuables, or even shutting our doors.
"Now that the Samoans have killed English and American officers and sailors it will be necessary to punish them. There are only 40,000 natives in the group. These will fight and die for Mataafa, and then the beautiful land of Samoa will be divided up among the English, Germans, and Americans, and much good may it do us."
Isabel Strong's long resiA Letter from an dence in the Samoan American. Islands and the prominence of her step-father, Robert Louis Stevenson, will perhaps lend a degree of reliability to what she says. She has given publicity to the following letter received recently from Mr. J. H. Moors, an American, who has lived in those islands for thirty years:
When I went aboard Admiral Kautz's
ship he informed me that I was in a painful minority. When I assured him that the
contrary was the case, and I was in an overwhelming majority, he appeared to be very much surprised. Then I asked him if he had talked matters over with any one except Tanu sympathizers, and he said he had not. I endeavored to give him such information as he would hear, but at every turn I found him so set in his ideas, and so intent on making up a cause of quarrel, that finally I said, "I hope, sir, you will not do any unjust thing or any cruel action.'
He said he had his orders, and intended to carry them out whether or no. I do not think Admiral Kautz, who had orders to investigate matters here, saw a single person outside those who were directly inter
phia) been here in charge instead of the Admiral, there would have been no war at all; not a dollar's worth of property would have been sacrificed and no valuable lives lost. * *
The Mataafa natives have shown a brave and forbearing spirit. Up to now no white man's property has been destroyed, though they have been for days in possession of Mr. Gurr's, Mr. Carruther's, and Mr. Chambers's premises. They have frequently faced the machine-guns all night at close-up range, shifting every minute, so as not to be hit by sailors who were lying in trenches not fifty yards away.
On March 25th a strong force of sailors, both American and British, went up towards
ested in aiding and abetting the Chambers minority. There are white people here besides consuls; people who have lived here for years, and have their homes and families here, who ardently wish for some sort of good government, and who feel that any sacrifice is cheap if he rule of another Malietoa can be avoided. I do not think the Admiral even pretended to inquire into matters. He is a testy, dictatorial sort of old chap, and has been flattered and goaded on to getting the United States into one of the most cowardly and scandalous of wars, without cause, object, or reason. I firmly believe, had Capt. White (of the Philadel
Papaloloa with their machine gun. They marched directly through an ambush, past it, and on till they came within 300 yards of the big fort at Vailima. Of this they learned, and stopped short, not feeling it safe to go further. Then they returned again through the ambush, a quarter of a mile lower down, and passed on without seeing any one, When the natives, who were in ambush, returned, they said they did not like to kill the white men, as it would make the final settlement more difficult. But on April 1st, when these same soldiers and sailors went out towards Vaitele, looking for a fight, they forgot the fact that the Porpoise had, a few
days earlier, cruised up and down the coast, shelling and burning the villages of Laulili and Lotoanuw.
The natives still occupy Maniani Vailima, Tanugamanono, Loptopa, and other points within the municipality, and, as far as I can judge, after one month's operations, the fleet has accomplished nothing but destruction and needless slaughter. All for what purpose? To uphold the decision of a thirdrate lawyer, which is evidently and conclusively wrong on the face of it, and force a missionary divinity student as king upon the country which is unanimously in favor of Mataafa.
It is endeavored to fasten the blame of all this trouble upon the Germans. I know for a fact, and no one knows better than I, that they have had nothing to do with the matter at all. They merely asked that the matter be allowed to remain as it was until the Powers could have time to investigate. I know that Herr Rose has been greatly maligned and
lied about. I am no friend of his, for I scarcely know him personally. I have not met him six times in my life, and then on business, but he is an able, conscientious man, who is struggling in the toils of misrepresentation. Our old Consul Osborn hardly counts. He is a good old boy, who absorbs every story that comes along, and feels bound to stand up for the missionaries. [Needless to say this does not refer to Mr. Lloyd Osbourne.]
Thus the man-hunt goes; in this manner are these poor people (and a braver, kinder lot never lived as we know who have been here half our lives) driven on to destroy one another, because of a lawyer who has wrongly interpreted a treaty, and decided that a 90 per cent. majority shall not rule. We hear that thousands of New Zealanders are anxious to come over and join in the slaughter. What have these poor Samoans done to bring down all this trouble on their defenceless heads?
INDUSTRIAL CONDITIONS IN SPAIN.
The report to the British and tradesmen. Morrocco and the A Re-organ Government of its commer- Spanish-American Republics naturaliy cial agent at Madrid shows offer the most promising markets for that Spain did not suffer great com- Spanish products owing to affinity of mercial loss during the war with the race, language and customs, and to United States. This report says: these countries the attention of the Spanish Government is especially directed.
In spite of the wars and consequent general excitement and heavy taxation, native industries in Spain have not suffered as greatly as it was feared they would. The loss of the Colonial markets on which the export trade of Spain greatly depended has made it necessary for the Government to take serious steps for finding new markets for Spanish products and for stimulating and enlarging those already known. With this intention several important measures have been instituted.
A special sub-department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been created for the purpose of supplying commercial information and statistics to merchants
Commercial Attaches have been appointed for Mexico, Brazil, Uruguay, the Argentine Republic, and Chili, and all possible steps are being taken to increase Spanish interest in those countries.
A General Assembly of the Spanish Chambers of Commerce was held at Saragossa on November 20th, last, to discuss the commercial position of the country. The meeting was held under the most orderly conditions and their efforts were treated with respect by the Government and caused a good impression in the country, and a petition