In the following letters, written during a stay of nine months in the Philippine Islands, I tried to convey to those at home a faithful impression of the country I was in and the people I met. Since I came home I have been advised to collect and prepare certain of my letters for publication, and this I have done to the best of my ability, though with considerable misgivings as to the fate of such a humble little volume.
It is impossible to mention the Philippine Islands, either in daily life in the country itself, or in describing such life, without reference to the political situations which form the topic of most conversations in that uneasy land. On this subject also I wrote to the best of my power, faithfully and impartially; for I hold no brief for the Americans or the Filipinos. I merely aimed at a plain account of those scenes and conversations, generally written within a few hours of my observing them, which, it seemed to me, would best convey a true and unbiassed impression of what I saw of the Philippines as they are.