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Spanish Atrocities at the Philippines.

Before the declaration of war between Spain and tbe United States, tbe American papers were deluged with tales of Spanish cruelties in Cuba. Very little was said of tbe Spanish rula iv the Philippines, except that it was characteristically corrupt aud effete. One story in particular, is almost incrediblo. In the fortress of San Sebastian lutra Mures, in Mauila, was a dungeon called the Black Hole Tho only entrance to it was through a tunnel iv a steep bank on which the fortress was built. Tbe prison bad only two small apertures, oue three feet square in the ceiling, the other, a littie grated hole in the floor, through whicb could be seen the sea, washing close underneath. It will easily be understood that imprisonment in such a place virtually meant burial alive Here the Spanish authorities used to confine State prison ers. On the principle of more the merrier tbey used to delight iv filling the hole literally brimful. Then they closed tbe doors aud left the unfortunate occupants without food and water and witb just sufficient air to prevent tbem dying immediatttly. It is reported that 169 insurgents were imprisoned in this manner last autumu. One who, after the iirst uight, succeeded in escaping, relates that when the prisoners were iirst lodged in the •• Hole," space could be found for only 160. The door was thereupon closed aud the reniainin" nine were pitched dowu on top of the others through tbe upper window. One prisoner, a very powerful man, proved unmanageable so, to keep bim quiet, his eyes were blinded aud the soles of bis feet gashed and seared with hot irons Ihe poor creature was, however, avenged. A Spaui^h officer in his auxiety to see the fun, squeezed bis head between the bars of the grating. It was promptly seized by tbe iufuri ated mob below, and before tbe guards could interfere, tbe incautious sightseer was strangled. Presently the tide commenced to rise ; up crawled the water, inch by inch, until, at intervals, it splashed into the faces of those who hung over the bars of the lower grating. For a few momenta this gave relief, but as the water rose further, j breathing became a matter of --till greater ! diffi-ulty. Presently the bodies of the men who were a'ready dead were submerged. Some who, although still alive, were too weak to struggle to their feet, were smothered forthwith ; others were ovei come only after desperate resistance. The raconteur managed to scramble onto a ledge in the vicinity of the higher door, whence those of his cumrades who were not dead were too feeble to follow him. He lay there until the tide retired, and when the Spaniards came to review the results of their handiwork, be preteuded to bo dead, in tbe hope tbat he might be taken out for the burial and find an opportunity to escape. He was, however, detected and sent to a hospital, from whicb, later'on, be slipped away. During oue night fifty four prisoners were killed and others afterwards died from the effects of the ghastly ordeal. It is reported tbat when the authorities at Manila received intelligence of the approach of the American fleet, tbey pre pared tbis particufar dungeon for the reception of Admiral Dewey and bis officers.

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Bibliographic details

Spanish Atrocities at the Philippines., Feilding Star, Volume XX, Issue 62, 12 September 1898

Word Count

Spanish Atrocities at the Philippines. Feilding Star, Volume XX, Issue 62, 12 September 1898