Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Idealism, Imperialism, and Internationalism: Opium Politics in the Colonial Philippines, 1898–1925

Abstract
Abstract

While establishing a framework for colonial governance in the Philippines, American policymakers had to confront the issue of opium smoking, which was especially popular among the Philippine Chinese community. In 1903, the Philippine Commission proposed a return to the Spanish-era policy of controlling the opium trade through tax farming, igniting outrage among American Protestant missionaries in the Philippines and their supporters in the United States. Their actions revived a faltering global anti-opium movement, leading to a series of international agreements and domestic restrictions on opium and other drugs. Focusing mostly on American policy in the Philippines, this paper also examines the international ramifications of a changing drug control regime. It seeks to incorporate the debate over opium policy into broader narratives of imperial ideology, international cooperation, and local responses to colonial rule, demonstrating how a variety of actors shaped the new drug-control regimes both in the Philippines and internationally.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Email: djpwertz@gmail.com
References
Hide All

1 Trocki Carl A., Opium and Empire: Chinese Society in Colonial Singapore, 1800–1910 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1990), pp. 2, 72.

2 Dikötter Frank, Laamann Lars, and Xun Zhou, Narcotic Culture: A History of Drugs in China (London: Hurst and Company, 2004).

3 Foster Anne L., ‘Models for Governing: Opium and Colonial Policies in Southeast Asia, 1898–1910’, in Go Julian and Foster Anne L. (eds), The American Colonial State in the Philippines: Global Perspectives (Durham: Duke University Press, 2003), pp. 101106.

4 Nankoe Hakiem, Gerlus Jean-Claude and Murray Martin J., ‘The Origins of the Opium Trade and the Opium Regie in Colonial Indochina’, in Butcher John and Dick Howard (eds), The Rise and Fall of Revenue Farming: Business Elites and the Emergence of the Modern State in Southeast Asia (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1993), pp. 182195; Rush James R., Opium to Java: Revenue Farming and Chinese Enterprise in Colonial Indonesia, 1860–1910 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1990), pp. 198241.

5 Jennings John, The Opium Empire: Japanese Imperialism and Drug Trafficking in Asia, 1895–1945 (London: Praeger, 1997), pp. 1738.

6 John F. Richards, ‘Opium and the British Indian Empire: The Royal Commission of 1895’, Modern Asian Studies, Vol. 36, No. 2 (May 2002), pp. 375–420.

7 Ahmad Diana L., The Opium Debate and Chinese Exclusion Laws in the Nineteenth-Century American West (Reno: University of Nevada Press, 2007); Berridge Virginia, Opium and the People: Opiate Use and Drug Control Policy in Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century England, 2nd Edition (London: Free Association Books, 1999), pp. 173205.

8 Courtwright David T., Dark Paradise: Opiate Addiction in America before 1940 (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1982), pp. 113148; Berridge, Opium and the People, pp. 113–170.

9 On early American anti-opium smoking ordinances, see Courtwright, Dark Paradise, pp. 78–80.

10 Quoted in Clymer Kenton J., Protestant Missionaries in the Philippines, 1898–1916: An Inquiry into the American Colonial Mentality (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1986), p. 154.

11 Quoted in Kramer Paul A., ‘The Darkness that Enters the Home: The Politics of Prostitution during the Philippine-American War’, in Stoler Ann Laura (ed.), Haunted by Empire: Geographies of Intimacy in North American History (Durham: Duke University Press, 2006), p. 370.

12 ‘Citizenship and Christianity’, New York Times, 5 November 1898; Tyrrell Ian, Reforming the World: The Creation of America's Moral Empire (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010), p. 123.

13 Homer C. Stuntz, ‘The Water Cure from a Missionary Point of View’, Central Christian Advocate, 4 June 1902.

14 Tyrrell, Reforming the World, pp. 123–145.

15 Kramer, ‘The Darkness that Enters the Home’, pp. 366–404.

16 Tyrrell Ian, Woman's World/Woman's Empire: The Woman's Christian Temperance Union in International Perspective, 1800–1930 (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1991), p. 186.

17 May Glenn Anthony, Social Engineering in the Philippines: The Aims, Execution and Impact of American Colonial Policy, 1900–1913 (London: Greenwood Press, 1980).

18 Patricio Abinales, ‘Progressive-Machine Conflict in Early-Twentieth-Century US Politics and Colonial-State Building in the Philippines’, in Go and Foster, The American Colonial State in the Philippines, p. 150.

19 On the final years of the Spanish opium farms, see Wickberg Edgar, The Chinese in Philippine Life, 1850–1898 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1965), pp. 119, 123.

20 H. C. DuBose to John McLaurin, 23 September 1899, United States National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 350: Records of the Bureau of Insular Affairs [BIA], Entry 5, Box 157, File 1023–1; ‘Petition to Powers Against Intoxicants’, Los Angeles Times, 5 December 1900.

21 Foster, ‘Models for Governing’, pp. 96–98.

22 ‘Philippines Very Fertile: Report by Gen. Whittier on General Conditions and Trade Possibilities in the Islands’, The New York Times, 12 November 1898.

23 Extracted in Lyman Gage to Secretary of War, 2 April 1900, BIA, Entry 5, Box 157, File 1023–3.

24 Gage to Secretary of War, 2 April 1900; War Department, Division of Customs and Insular Affairs, to Major General E. S. Otis, 16 April 1900, BIA, Entry 5, Box 157, File 1023–3.

25 James J. Rafferty to Secretary of Finance and Justice, 5 February 1914, BIA, Entry 5, Box 200, File 1023–205.

26 George W. Evans to the Commission of the USA to the International Opium Conference at Shanghai, 14 December 1908, Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Charles Henry Brent Papers [CHB], Box 8, Folder 5.

27 William Howard Taft to Elihu Root, 15 July 1903, BIA, Entry 5, Box 158, File 1023–46.

28 Wickberg, The Chinese in Philippine Life, pp. 169–170, 148. Wickberg argues that the 1903 Philippine census undercounted the Chinese population at 41,035; Philippine Commission Opium Report, Report of the Committee Appointed by the Philippine Commission to Investigate the Use of Opium and Traffic Therein (Washington: US War Department, Bureau of Insular Affairs, 1905), p. 49, estimated a population of 70,000 in 1905.

29 Wickberg, The Chinese in Philippine Life, pp. 123, 199–201; Wilson Andrew R., Ambition and Identity: Chinese Merchant Elites in Colonial Manila, 1880–1916 (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2004), pp. 110139.

30 José Rizal, El Filibusterismo, trans. Lacson-Locsin María Soledad, ed. Locsin Raul L. (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2007), pp. 128137.

31 Wickberg, The Chinese in Philippine Life, p. 201; The International Reform Bureau implied that Chen also instigated the creation of the 1903 opium farm bill, but given that he died in 1901, the Bureau was either mistaken or perhaps referring to a previous incident. See ‘Opium in Philippines’, Washington Post, 10 June 1903.

32 Kwow-Chu Wong, The Chinese in the Philippine Economy, 1898–1941 (Manila: Ateneo de Manila Press, 1999), p. 25; Wilson, Ambition and Identity, p. 159.

33 Wilson, Ambition and Identity, p. 142.

34 W. Morgan Shuster, ‘Customs Administrative Circular No. 129’, BIA, Entry 5, Box 157, File 1023–4; Philippine Commission Opium Report, p. 94.

35 Bureau of Insular Affairs, Report of the Philippine Commission, 1906, Vol. VII, Part III (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1907), pp. 99–100.

36 Report of the Philippine Commission, 1906, Vol. VII, Part III, p. 99; International Opium Commission, Report of the International Opium Commission: Shanghai, China, February 1 to February 26, 1909, Vol. II (Shanghai: North China Daily News and Herald Ltd., 1909), p. 23.

37 ‘Statistical Record of Opium’, BIA, Entry 5, Box 200, File 1023–281-A.

38 Report of the Philippine Commission, 1903, Vol. IV, Part I, p. 63.

39 Edward S. Bragg to Francis B. Loomis, 14 April 1903, BIA, Entry 5, Box 157, File 1023–9.

40 Henry Ide to Bureau of Insular Affairs, 15 May 1903, BIA, Entry 5, Box 157, File 1023–5.

41 ‘An Act to Suppress the Sale of Opium to the Filipino People’, BIA, Entry 5, Box 157, File 1023–13.

42 McCoy Alfred W., Scarano Francisco A., and Johnson Courtney, ‘On the Tropic of Cancer: Transitions and Transformations in the US Imperial State’, in McCoy Alfred W. and Scarano Francisco A. (eds), Colonial Crucible: Empire in the Making of the Modern American State (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2009), p. 11.

43 Diary of Charles Henry Brent, 1901–1910, 17 January 1903, CHB, Box 53.

44 Crafts Wilbur F., Intoxicants and Opium in All Lands and Times, 6th Edition (Washington, DC: The International Reform Bureau, 1906), pp. 259260; Judd Bertrand P.. Reforms Realized, ‘Facts Stranger than Fiction’. A Brief History of the International Reform Bureau (Washington, DC: International Reform Bureau, 1907).

45 Homer C. Stuntz to Wilbur Crafts, 2 May 1903, BIA, Entry 5, Box 157, File 1023–17.

46 International Reform Bureau to Theodore Roosevelt, 5 June 1903, BIA, Entry 5, Box 157, File 1023–16.

47 Crafts, Intoxicants and Opium, p. 259.

48 Tyrrell, Reforming the World, p. 153.

49 Kramer, ‘The Darkness That Enters the Home’, pp. 390–394.

50 ‘Dr. Wilbur F. Crafts Crusader, Dies at 73’. The New York Times, 28 December 1922; Judd, Reforms Realized, p. 2.

51 Charles A. Fahs to Theodore Roosevelt, 9 June 1903, BIA, Entry 5, Box 157, File 1023–39.

52 Margaret Platt to Theodore Roosevelt, 6 July 1903, BIA, Entry 5, Box 157, File 1023–39.

53 Memorandum from Chinese Legation, 22 April 1903, BIA, Entry 5, Box 157, File 1023–6.

54 Petition of Opium Merchants of Manila to William Howard Taft, 6 May 1903, BIA, Entry 5, Box 158, File 1023–69.

55 Edward S. Bragg to Francis B. Loomis, 14 April 1903, BIA, Entry 5, Box 157, File 1023–9.

56 Quoted in Willis Henry Parker, Our Philippine Problem: A Study of American Colonial Policy (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1905), p. 443; ‘La Ley de Opio’, El Renacimiento, 19 June 1903; Philippine Commission Opium Report, pp. 128–145.

57 Rizal José, Noli me Tangere, trans. Lacson-Locsin María Soledad, ed. Locsin Raul L. (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1997), pp. 32, 423.

58 Rizal, El Filibusterismo, p. 12.

59 Kuskus Baluñgus, ‘Fisolofias Sobre el Opio’, El Renacimiento, 27 June 1903.

60 Report of the Philippine Commission, 1 December 1900 to 15 October 1901, Part I, p. 154; Report of the Philippine Commission, 1903, Part I, p. 804.

61 Mojares Resil B., The War Against the Americans: Resistance and Collaboration in Cebu, 1899–1906 (Manila: Ateneo de Manila University Press, 1999), p. 149.

62 Edwards to William Howard Taft, 9 June 1903, BIA, Entry 5, Box 157, File 1023–24; Theodore Roosevelt to Secretary of War, 6 June 1903, BIA, Entry 5, Box 157, File 1023–14.

63 Elihu Root to William Howard Taft, 5 June 1903, BIA, Entry 5, Box 157, File 1023–24.

64 Elihu Root to William Howard Taft, 17 June 1903, BIA, Entry 5, Box 157, File 1023–25.

65 Willis, Our Philippine Problem, p. 43.

66 ‘Minutes of Proceedings of the Philippine Commission, Public Sessions of 8, 9 and 15 July, Comprising the Public Discussion of the Proposed Opium Law’, BIA, Entry 5, Box 158, File 1023–58.

67 William Howard Taft to Elihu Root, 13 July 1903, BIA, Entry 5, Box 157, File 1023–25.

68 Taft to Root, 15 July 1903, BIA, Entry 5, Box 158, File 1023–46.

69 Elihu Root to Theodore Roosevelt, 14 July 1903, BIA, Entry 5, Box 158, File 1023–46.

70 Philippine Commission Opium Report, pp. 32–33.

71 Ibid., p. 14.

72 Ibid., pp. 37–44.

73 Ibid., pp. 47–48.

74 Ibid., p. 146.

75 Ibid., pp. 128–145.

76 Ibid., p. 19.

77 Ibid., pp. 146–147.

78 Ibid., pp. 19, 47–49.

79 William Howard Taft to Luke E. Wright, 6 January 1905, BIA, Entry 5, Box 159, File 1023–110.

80 ‘An Act Gradually to Restrict and Regulate the Sale and Use of Opium’, BIA, Entry 5, Box 160, File 1023–152; Henry Ide, Extract from Cable, 7 March 1906, BIA, Entry 5, Box 160, File 1023–141.

81 Trocki, Opium and Empire, p. 210.

82 United Kingdom Parliamentary Debates (Hansard), ‘The Opium Traffic’, House of Commons, 30 May 1906, Vol. 158, pp. 494–516.

83 Charles Henry Brent to the President, 20 August 1906, Papers Related to the Foreign Relations of the United States [FRUS], 1906, (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1906), pp. 362–363.

84 Thomas D. Reins, ‘Reform, Nationalism and Internationalism: The Opium Suppression Movement in China and the Anglo-American Influence, 1900–1908’, Modern Asian Studies, Vol. 25, No. 1 (February 1991), pp. 102–108, 133–139.

85 Judd, Reforms Realized, p. 13.

86 Francis Burton Harrison to Hamilton Wright, 15 February 1916, Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Burton Norvell Harrison Family Papers [BNHF], Box 32, Folder 10.

87 Charles Henry Brent to Theodore Roosevelt, 24 July 1906, CHB, Box 6, Folder 7.

88 Theodore Roosevelt to Charles Henry Brent, 28 August 1906, CHB, Box 6, Folder 7.

89 War Department Memorandum, 31 January 1907, BIA, Entry 5, Box 740, File 15541.

90 Musto, The American Disease, p. 30.

91 Lowes Peter D., The Genesis of International Narcotics Control (Geneva: Librairie Droz, 1966), pp. 111113.

92 Minister Rockhill to the Secretary of State, 29 June 1907, FRUS, 1907, p. 159.

93 Report of the International Opium Commission, Vol. I, pp. 9–10.

94 Morrison G. E. to Valentine Chirol, 14 May 1907, in Hui-min Lo (ed.), The Correspondence of G. E. Morrison, Vol. I (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1976), p. 409.

95 Straits Settlements Opium Commission, Proceedings of the Commission Appointed to Enquire into Matters Relating to the Use of Opium in the Straits Settlements and the Federated Malay States, Vol. I (London: Darling and Son, 1909), p. 1.

96 Report of the International Opium Commission, Vol. II, p. 346.

97 FRUS, 1908, pp. 100–103; Walker William O. III, Opium and Foreign Policy: The Anglo-American Search for Order in Asia, 1912–1954 (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1991), p. 16.

98 Hamilton Wright to Theodore Roosevelt, 2 September 1908, United States National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 43.2.9, Records of the US Delegations to the International Opium Commission and Conferences [IOC], Entry 49, Box 1, Folder 2.

99 Musto David F., The American Disease: Origins of Narcotics Control, 2nd Edition (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987), pp. 3035; Courtwright, Dark Paradise, pp. 9–34.

100 Foster, ‘Models for Governing’, pp. 111–113.

101 Report of the Philippine Commission, 1908, Vol. IX, Part II, p. 109. George W. Evans to the Commission of the U.S.A., 14 December 1908, CHB, Box 8, Folder 5.

102 Report of the Philippine Commission, 1908, Vol. IX, Part II, pp. 26–27, 109–110.

103 Report of the International Opium Commission, Vol. II, p. 24; ‘Statistical Record of Opium’, BIA, Entry 5, Box 200, Files 1023–281-A, 1023–281-B.

104 George W. Evans to the Commission of the USA, 14 December 1908, CHB, Box 8, Folder 5; James J. Rafferty to Charles Henry Brent, 9 January 1909, CHB, Box 8, Folder 5.

105 H. B. McCoy to J. S. Stanley, 24 August 1909, BIA, Entry 5, Box 160, File 1023–184; Louis T. Grant Personnel File, BIA, Entry 21, Box 247.

106 J. S. Stanley to W. Cameron Forbes, 4 September 1912, CHB, Box 10, Folder 3.

107 ‘Cebú, Ciudad del Contrabando’, La Democracia, 18 June 1913; ‘Información que va confirmádose’, La Democracia, 23 June 1913.

108 E. R. Wilson, Opium Smuggling in Cebu, 25 November and 1 December 1919, BIA, Entry 5, Box 200, Files 1023–232-B and 1023–232-C.

109 McCoy Alfred W., Policing America's Empire: The United States, the Philippines, and the Rise of the Surveillance State (Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 2009), p. 151.

110 Acting Director to General Frank McIntyre, 30 October 1913, BIA, Entry 5, Box 160, File 1023–200.

111 Report of the Philippine Commission, 1908, Vol. IX, Part II, pp. 26–27, 109–110; Charles Henry Brent to Colonel George R. Colton, 30 November 1907, CHB, Box 6, Folder 9.

112 Wilson, Ambition and Identity, pp. 186–217; McCoy, Policing America's Empire, pp. 196–199.

113 Warren James Francis, The Sulu Zone, 1768–1898: The Dynamics of External Trade, Slavery, and Ethnicity in the Transformation of a Southeast Asian Maritime State (Singapore: Singapore University Press, 1981); Abinales Patricio N., Making Mindanao: Cotabato and Davao in the Formation of the Philippine Nation-State (Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2000), pp. 1768; Donna J. Amoroso, ‘Inheriting the “Moro Problem”: Muslim Authority and Colonial Rule in British Malaya and the Philippines’, in Go and Foster, The American Colonial State in the Philippines, pp. 118–147.

114 Lester Maynard correspondence, 17 January to 20 July 1907, BIA, Entry 8, Box 68, Files C-1319–2, C-1319–3, C-1319–4, C-1319–7, C-1319–9; F.W. Wilson to Insular Collector of Customs, 13 February 1911, CHB, Box 10, Folder 3.

115 James J. Rafferty to Charles Henry Brent, 9 January 1909, CHB, Box 8, Folder 5.

116 Report of the International Opium Commission, Vol. I, p. 47.

117 Ibid., pp. 46–48.

118 Ibid., p. 50.

119 Ibid., p. 51.

120 Ibid., p. 84.

121 Straits Settlements Opium Commission, Vol. I, p. 46.

122 Trocki, Opium and Empire, pp. 117–220.

123 James H. Thomas, ‘Opium Policy’, 31 July 1924, United Kingdom National Archives, Records of the Cabinet office [CAB]/24/168.

124 Tagliacozzo Eric, Secret Trades, Porous Borders: Smuggling and States along a Southeast Asian Frontier, 1865–1915 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005); Rush, Opium to Java, pp. 198–241; Trocki Carl A., Opium, Empire and the Global Political Economy: A Study of the Asian Opium Trade, 1750–1950 (London: Routledge, 1999), pp. 156159.

125 McKeown Adam M., Melancholy Order: Asian Migration and the Globalization of Borders (New York: Columbia University Press, 2008), pp. 347348.

126 Charles Henry Brent to Bishop Hall, 2 July 1909, CHB, Box 8, Folder 12.

127 Cameron Forbes to Secretary of War, 2 July 1909, BIA, Entry 5, Box 740, File 15541–18; Lambeth Palace to Charles Henry Brent, 11 May 1909, CHB, Box 8, Folder 10; A. A. de Jongh to Charles Henry Brent, 29 December 1909, CHB, Box 8, Folder 17.

128 Taylor Theodore C., How the Opium Question Now Stands (London: Society for the Suppression of the Opium Trade, 1910).

129 Minister of Foreign Affairs to Ambassador Reid, 17 September 1910, FRUS, 1910, pp. 312–313; Lowes, International Narcotics Control, pp. 169–175; McAllister William B., Drug Diplomacy in the Twentieth Century: An International History (London: Routledge, 2000), pp. 3033.

130 ‘The Hague International Opium Convention’, in Willoughby W. W., Opium as an International Problem: The Geneva Conferences (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1925), pp. 483492; Lowes, International Narcotics Control, pp. 176–182.

131 Quoted in Walker, Opium and Foreign Policy, p. 18.

132 Musto, The American Disease, pp. 40–48; Hamilton Wright to Theodore Roosevelt, 27 June 1916, IOC, Entry 49, Box 1, Folder 2.

133 Courtwright, Dark Paradise, pp. 104–106; Musto, The American Disease, pp. 54–68.

134 Francis Burton Harrison correspondence with Hamilton Wright, 18 November 1913, to 28 May 1914, BNHF, Box 32, Folder 10.

135 Huntington Wilson to Charles Henry Brent, 25 May 1910, CHB, Box 9, Folder 2.

136 ‘Smuggling of Opium, 1913–1921’, United Kingdom National Archives, Records of the Colonial Office, Commonwealth and Foreign and Commonwealth Offices, Empire Marketing Board, and Related Bodies [CO]/874/914.

137 Harrison Francis Burton, The Cornerstone of Philippine Independence: A Narrative of Seven Years (New York: The Century Co., 1922), p. 336.

138 Legislature Philippine, Journal of the Philippine Commission, Vol. II (Manila: Bureau of Printing, 1908), pp. 264267.

139 McCoy, Policing America's Empire, pp. 151–152. This crackdown on opium dens did not seem to apply outside Manila: arrests and convictions for opium use in the provinces rose dramatically at the beginning of Harrison's tenure and levelled off in the following years. See ‘Statistical Record of Opium’, BIA, Entry 5, Box 200, File 1023–281-A.

140 Customs File—War Department Record Cards, BIA, Entry 7, Box 7, File C-1319.

141 ‘Smuggling of Opium, 1921–1928’, CO/874/915.

142 Walker, Opium and Foreign Policy, pp. 21–26; Jennings, The Opium Empire, pp. 42–49, 65–66; O. M. Green to G. E. Morrison, 19 December 1918, The Correspondence of G. E. Morrison, Vol. II, pp. 722–726.

143 Lowes, International Narcotics Control, pp. 182–189.

144 McAllister, Drug Diplomacy, pp. 43–78; The Committee on Traffic in Opium of the Foreign Policy Association, International Control of the Traffic in Opium: Summary of the Opium Conferences held at Geneva, November, 1924, to February, 1925 (New York: 1925), pp. 7–10.

145 Trocki, Opium, Empire, and the Global Political Economy, pp. 155, 161; Rush, Opium to Java, pp. 243–255.

146 McCoy Alfred W., The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade, 2nd Edition (Chicago: Lawrence Hill Books, 1991), p. 77.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Modern Asian Studies
  • ISSN: 0026-749X
  • EISSN: 1469-8099
  • URL: /core/journals/modern-asian-studies
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 9
Total number of PDF views: 61 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 315 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 17th January 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.