Reflexiones imparciales de un español : avecindado en Manila sobre las causas de la decadencia de las Yslas Filipinas y medios que juzga mas a propósito para hacerlas productivas a la Metropoli, y restituirlas al estado de que son susceptibles por su ventajosa posicion

P. de S. M


  • Memorandum, dated July 15, 1827 in Madrid, to Luis López Ballesteros, Minister of the Treasury for Fernando VII, from P. de S.M., containing his observations on the causes of the decline of the Philippines, with recommendations for reforms to stimulate development and prosperity in the islands. The author's observations are based on his residence in Manila, where he has long been engaged in commerce throughout the Philippines, in China, in the colonies of India, and on the Pacific coasts of America. He believes it is imperative to eliminate Moro pirates by taking control of Joló and Mindanao Islands and creating agricultural colonies there; develop agriculture throughout the islands; encourage immigration from Spain of soldiers and colonists; establish banks, a printing office, and a mint; improve island defenses; remove all trade restrictions; systematize registration of land titles to clarify ownership; construct a college and a botanical garden; carefully regulate a newly-established probate court; and improve security in Manila and its suburbs. There is a long section dealing with the character of the Tagalog natives, discussing both positive and negative qualities, and stressing agriculture as the best mode of life for them. Other sections describe the Chinese population of the Philippines as well as wild tribes such as the Negritos. In conclusion, the author appends a lengthy note proposing the establishment of a banking system in Manila.


  • Title from p. [5].
  • P. [1] bears ownership stamp of the Compañía General de Tabacos de Filipinas from whom ms. was acquired by Edward Ayer in 1903.
  • In box with title: "Reflexiones imparciales de un español. 1827."
  • Summary of ms. in English in The Philippine Islands / ed. Emma Helen Blair and James Alexander Robertson. Cleveland : The Arthur H. Clark Company, 1907, v. 51, p. 263-273.
  • Forms part of the Edward E. Ayer Manuscript Collection (Newberry Library).
  • Butler, R.L. Check list of the mss. in the Ayer Coll., 1423
  • Lietz, P.S. Calendar of the Philippine docs. in the Ayer Coll., 276
  • Blair and Robertson. The Philippine Islands, v. 53, p. 235
  • Location of original: Newberry Library, Special Collections,
  • In Spanish.
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