THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT AND THE CONGO STATE.
The International Association of the Congo was recognized by the United States April 22, 1884. Nine months afterward, recognition was secured from Germany and, later, successively from the other European Powers. Two international conferences were held at which the Powers constituted themselves guardians of the people of the Congo territory, the Association binding itself to regard the principles of administration adopted. In both these conferences the United States government prominently participated. The Act of Berlin was not submitted by the President of the United States for ratification by the Senate because its adoption as a whole was thought by him to involve responsibility for support of the territorial claims of rival Powers in the Congo region. The Act of Brussels, with a proviso safeguarding this point, was formally ratified by the United States. Whether we are without obligation to reach a hand to this expiring people, the intelligent reader will judge for himself.
"Stanley saw neither fortress nor flag of any civilization save that of the United States, which he carried along the arterial water course.... The first appeal for recognition and for moral support was naturally and justly made to the government whose flag was first carried across the region." -- Mr. Kasson in North American Review, February, 1886.
"This Government at the outset testified its lively interest in the well-being and future progress of the vast region now committed to your Majesty's wise care, by being the first among the Powers to recognize the flag of the International Association of the Congo as that of a friendly State." -- President Cleveland to King Leopold, September 11, 1885.
"The recognition by the United States was the birth into new life of the Association, seriously menaced as its existence was by opposing interests and ambitions." -- Mr. Stanley "The Congo," vol. 1, page 383.
"He (the President of the United States) desires to see in the delimitation of the region which shall be subjected to this beneficent rule (of the International Association of the Congo) the widest expansion consistent with the just territorial rights of other governments." -- Address of Mr. Kasson, U. S. Representative at Berlin Conference, 1884.
"So marked was the acceptance by the Berlin Conference of the views presented on the part of the United States that Herr Von Bunsen, reviewing the action of the Conference, assigns after Germany the first place of influence in the Conference to the United States. -- Mr. Kasson in North American Review, February, 1886.
"In sending a representative to this Assembly, the Government of the U.S. has wished to show the great interest and deep sympathy it feels in the great work of philanthropy which the Conference seeks to realize. Our country must feel beyond all others an immense interest in the work of this Assembly." -- Mr. Terrell, U.S. Representative at Brussels Conference, 1st session, November 19, 1889.
"Mr. Terrell informs the Conference that he has been authorized by his Government to sign the General Act adopted by the Conference.
"The President says that the U.S. Minister's communication will be received by the Conference with extreme satisfaction." -- Records of Brussels Conference, June 28, 1890.
"Claiming, as at Berlin, to speak in the name of Almighty God, the signatories (at Brussels) declared themselves to be 'equally animated by the firm intention of putting an end to the crimes and devastations engendered by the traffic in African slaves, of protecting effectually the aboriginal populations and of ensuring the benefits of peace and civilization.'" -- "Civilization in Congoland," H. R. Fox Bourne.
"The President continues to hope that the Government of the U.S., which was the first to recognize the Congo Free State, will not be one of the last to give it the assistance of which it may stand in need." -- Remarks of Belgian President of Brussels Conference, session May 14, 1890.