Major-General Leonard Wood

Inasmuch as your president has asked me to say something about colonial government I will give you a brief account of affairs in Cuba, and tell you something of what the government is trying to do there.

When the island was turned over to us, we found the civil government practically disorganized and the people living under conditions almost impossible to conceive among any civilized people. We found them living in ruined towns, without water supply, without schools, and with thoroughly inefficient courts, in which methods of procedure existed (and they still exist) that are absolutely intolerable from our standpoint.

We are going to establish in the island of Cuba a stable government (applause), such a government as will guarantee freedom of life and property and freedom in the worship of God to every man and to all races who may come to that island. (Applause.) And we are going to commence the work of reformation (or I hope we shall commence it in this way) with the reformation of muncipal governments, the institution of thoroughly modern school systems, and the reformation of the methods of criminal procedure. We shall endeavor to establish such a government as will be a credit to our own government, and will compel the respect of the world—to show that the United States are honestly and with ability discharging the trust imposed upon them. (Applause.)

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Items of Interest
Items of Interest
July 6, 1899

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