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In order to prevent misunderstanding, attention is directed to the fact that the reports of the law officer of the Division of Insular Affairs are not judicial decisions. The authority to declare the determination of the War Department as to the questions discussed in said reports is retained and exercised by the Secretary of War. These reports were prepared for his use and information in arriving at su determination and are now published by his direction. The writer sincerely hopes the publication may be of service to the constantly increasing number of persons whose interest is awakened or whose rights are involved in the propositions discussed.

Lurr Opicer, Dirision of Insular Affairs,

Iur Department, Washington, D. C.




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The powers, functions, and duties of the military governments maintained by

the United States in the islands lately cedled and relinquished by the Gov-

ernment of Spain.....

Legal status of the territory and inhabitants of the islands acquired by the

United States during the war with Spain, considered with reference to the

territorial boundaries, the Constitution, and laws of the l'nited States......

Incidents in the history of the United States involving the doctrine that the

Constitution and laws of the United States extend, ex proprio vigore, over

newly acquired territory, upon the acquisition being completel

The charge of “imperialism" preferred against President Jefferson..

The debate on the bill providing a temporary civil government for the

Floridas ....

The controversy over said doctrine between Andrew Jackson and Judge


The debate in the Senate of the United States in 1849, led by Webster

and Calhoun, on the propositions involved in the two questions--

1. Do the Constitution and the body of laws of the l'nited States, er

proprio rigore, extend over territory newly acquired by the United


2. Can the Constitution be extended over territory newly acquired by

the l'nited States, either ex proprio rigore or by act of Congress,

we creation of a State in said territory by authorized action

of the inhabitants?

The proceedings in Congress during the passage of the bill providing for

the payment of the purchase price of Alaska, wherein the House required

the Senate and Executive to recognize and respect the right of the

House to participate in the determination of the question, whether or

not a cession of foreign territory to the United States shall be assented

to by the sovereign people of the l'nited States..

The position taken by the legislative and executive branches of this Gov-

ernment respecting territory outside of the States of the Union and the

relation sustained by such territory to the tariff laws and statutes of simi-

lar character ....

Comparison of the constitutional requirements for uniform tariff laws with

the requirements as to uniform laws on internal revenue and (lirect taxes.

Report on the right of Spain to accept a renewal of allegiance to it by indi-

vidual inhabitants of the territories acquired by the United States as a result

of the Spanish-American war, and to reinstate such individuals in Spanish


In re claim of the Manila Railway Company, Limited, for payment by the

United States of interest on the capital invested in the railway owned anal

operated by said company, pursuant to guaranty of said interest by the Spy:un-

ish Government..






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In e petition of the Countess of Buena Vista for relief from a certain order of

the Military Governor of Cuba, and the claim of Dr. Don Gustavo Gallet

Duplessis for similar relief and indemnity.
The right of the government of the Philippine Islands, instituted by the Presi-

dent of the United States, to regulate commercial intercouse with the archi-
pelago; and, as an incident to such regulation, to impose import and export

duties. Report on objections made by the representatives of the Hongkong and Shang

hai Banking Corporation to Act No. 53 of the Philippine Commission, enti-
tled "An Act to prevent discrimination against the money of the United

States by banking institutions"
In re order of Major-General Otis requiring Smith, Bell & Co., a banking

house at Manila, to turn over to the American authorities $100,000, held by

said house as the property of the insurgent forces in the Philippines. The confiscation of private property of enemies in war. In the matter of transmitting over the telegraph lines operated by the military

government of Cuba messages received from or destined for points in the

United States, via Haiti and Santiago de Cuba.....
In the matter of complaint made by the owner of the British vessel, Will o' the

Wisp, because of certain restrictions placed by the United States upon trade
with the Sulu Islands, contrary, it is alleged, to the protocol of March 11,
1877, by the representatives of Great Britain, Germany, and Spain; also the
demand of said owners for $10,000 for damages occasioned by the enforce-

ment of said restrictions The protection by the government of civil affairs in Cuba and the Philippines

of tracle-marks registered prior to the treaty of Paris (1898) in the Interna-
tional Registry at the Bureau of the Union for the Protection of Industrial
Property, Berne, Switzerland, under the international agreement concluded

April 14, 1891, to which Spain was a party .....
In re note of the imperial ambassador of Germany at this capital to the Secre-

tary of State, complaining of the regulations and restriction, with
the inhabitants of the Sulu Islands, imposed by the military guvernment of
the Philippine Archipelago; also the correspondence between the United
States consul-general at Singapore and the Imperial consul of Germany at that
port, regarding the closing of the ports of the Sulu Archipelago to foreign
commerce, by order of the commander of the United States military forces

in the Philippine Islands In re claims made against the United States by reason of the military opera

tions, encampment of troops, conduct of soldiers, etc., in Porto Rico, Cuba,

Hawaii, and the Philippines
Mining claims and appurtenant privileges in Cuba, Porto Rico, and the Phil-

The right of municipalities in Cuba to grant permission to railroad companies

to cross or occupy highways, streets, and property belonging to said munici

palities, and the procedure to be followed in conferring such privilege...... Report on the drait of a proposed order of the military government authorizing

the organization of railroad companies in Cuba and the construction, main

tenance, and operation of railroads in that island...... In the matter of an inquiry from the State Department r. garding the claim of

Merryweather & Sons, London, England, for damages occasioned by the refusal of the city of Manila to permit the further execution of an alleged contract for supplying certain fire apparatus...







407 Page.


422 431





457 457 463


The claim for $30,000 presented by the American Mail Steamship Company

for services rendered the United States in towing the United States Army

transport VcPherson to Hampton Roads..... The salary of the governor-general of Cuba and its payment out of the revenues

of ('uba..... The statute prohibiting officers of the Army from holding civil offices.... Application of the purchasers of the San Juan and Rio Piedras Tramway for

confirmation of sale and transfer of concession, and for certain privileges

desireil upon completion of transfer... In the matter of annulling the alleged title to the island of Caja de Muertos

and the phosphate deposits therein, granted by General Henry to Miguel

Porrata Doria in 1899..
In re contract with Woolf et al. regarding the manufacture and use of electro-

zone for public purposes in Habana, Cuba
In the matter of the claim Antonio Alvarez Nava y Lobo for the sum of

$30,000 damages for being deprived of the office of notary, held by him in

San Juan, P. R., under the Spanish régime . Memorandum on the questions1. Do the municipalities of Porto Rico, under the conditions now existing

in the island, possess the right to contract loans and issue bonds for

public improvements 2. What method or procedure must be followed in exercising said right.. In re granting municipal franchises by the municipalities of Porto Rico. In the matter of the application of Fermin y Sagardia, an inhabitant of Porto

Rico, for compensation for damages occasioned by his property being stolen,

injured, and destroyed by robbers infesting the locality of his residence.... In the matter of the administration of the estate of Ramon Marti y Buguet, a

native of Tarragona, Spain, who died at Beaz, Santa Clara, without leaving a

will In re estate of Jacob Dubuque, deceased, and the administration thereof by

the military authorities of the United States at Cienfuegos, Cuba .. In the matter of the application of Sam Wing, a Chinese merchant, domiciled

in Providence, R. I., for an order by the Secretary of War, permitting him to enter the port of Manila, P. I., and thence proceed to Iloilo, to there

engage in business as a merchant In the matter of the application of the board of harbor works of Ponce, P. R.,

to the Government of the United States, asking for the assistance of the Government of the United States in securing the payment of a claim asserted by said board of harbor works of Ponce against the Government of Spain for

the sum of 27,503.06 pesos In re application to the President, of Juan B. Calero, to set aside and annul

certain judgments rendered by the courts of Cuba prior to American occu

pation of the island.... Report on the application to the Secretary of War, made by Antonio Diaz

Herrera, an inhabitant of Cuba, requesting the Secretary of War to annul the

final decree of the judge of San Antonio de los Baños made May 25, 1897... In the matter of the application of Frank H. Griswold, Charles Bigelow, Her

bert S. Griswold, and Joseph J. McNally, for articles of incorporation creating a corporation under and by virtue of the laws of Porto Rico; if such corporation can not be created under the laws of Porto Rico, as existing, then said applicants desire to become incorporated as a Porto Rico corporation under and by virtue of the Federal authority of the United States.....







490 Page.









In the matter of the application of Ramon Valdez for a revocable license to

occupy and utilize the water power of La Plata River at Comerio Falls,

Porto Rico...
Memorandum respecting the exercise of the power to pardon under the military

government maintained in New Mexico; also the orders of the military gor-
ernment of Cuba relating to the exercise of the power to pardon under that
In the matter of the commutation, by the courts of ('uba, of the sentences

heretofore imposed by said courts on persons convicted of criminal offenses
committed in Cuba when the convicted persons are serving out said sen-
tences in prisons situated in territory now subject to the sovereignty of

In the matter of the contract between the united railways of the Havana and

Regla Warehouses, Limited, and the Cuban and Pan-American Express

('ompany In the matter of the protest of M. F. Viondi, an inhabitant of the island of

Cuba and an attorney at law, against the order of the military governor of

Cuba dated July 29, 1899, being No. 124, Ileadquarters Division of Cuba ... The disposition to be made of certain effects of Mortimer Cook, deceased, now

in the possession of the military authorities of the United States in the Phil

ippines ... Extradition of fugitives from justice who have taken refuge in Cuba under

military government.. In re claim of Don José Cagigas against the military government of Cuba for

damages to the tug (utalina by a collision with the Government boat Narciso

Deulofeu in Habana Harbor ..
In re claim of the Eastern Extension Telegraph Company for payment by the

United States of subsidy provided for by the terms of the concession granted

by the Government of Spain ..... Claim of Vicente and José Usera relating to an alleged Spanish concession for

the construction of a tramway on the public highway from the city of Ponce,

P. R., to the Barrio de la Marina
In the matter of the contract for a market house at Sancti Spíritus, Cuba, and

the rights thereunder of Primitivo Gutierrez, a Spanish subject....
Report on the right of the municipality of Habana to exercise over property

owned by said city, the rights which by law belong to the peaceful posses

sion of property. Report on the question of inserting a charge of “conspiracy” in the criminal

complaints against Neely and Rathbone; and the inadvisability of joining

both defendants in one complaint which shall include all the charges... Report as to the ownership and right to dispose of vessels disabled and sunk

in the coastal waters of Cuba by the naval forces of the United States during

the Spanish-American wa In re request of the military government of Cuba that the War Department

request the State Department to apply to the Government of Spain for the

release from prison of Eulogio Idulla Saez.....
In re note from the Spanish minister at this capital to the Secretary of State

suggesting the conclusion of an agreement between the Government of the
United States and the Government of Spain in respect of the disposition of
the stationary batteries, war material, etc., left by the forces of Spain in ('uba
and Porto Rico, upon the failure of the mixed evacuation commissions to

agree as to the title and final disposition thereof....
The concession to canalize the Matadero River from the Cristina Bridge to

the Bay of Atares











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