US General, born in Frederick (Maryland) in 1838 and died in 1909, served as military Governor of the Philippines from 1898 to 1900, period during which had to cope of Filipino separatists armed insurrection.
Graduated in law by the University of Rochester (1858), Elwell Otis joined the body of volunteers from New York (federal army) with the employment of captain after the outbreak of the American civil war (1860-1865). During this conflict, he/she had an outstanding performances in the bloody battles of Spotsylvania and Chappel House (1864). Specializing in military strategy, in 1881 he/she was appointed head of the newly created School of application of weapons of infantry and cavalry of the Academy of Fort Leavenworth (Kansas), since he/she played until 1885. Promoted to Colonel in 1880, it also served as a volunteer in the Indian wars while he/she was assigned as Commander of the garrison of Colorado, and in 1893 reached the ranking of Brigadier.
On August 28, 1898 arrived in Manila to the post of Commander of the Department of the Pacific and military Governor of the Philippines, replacing in the same general Wesley Merritt. His first mission was to consolidate American sovereignty over the Philippine archipelago by putting an end to the Spanish resistance, event that will be made official after the signing of the Treaty of Paris (10 December 1898). Also he/she arranged the first measures to dismantle the Spanish legal system and replace it with the American, work which was advised of the Schurman Commission, a body of which he/she was part. On the other hand, Otis was less successful in the task of convincing the anarchically Patriots led by general Emilio Aguinaldo to accept the authority of the United States, covered under the political formula of benevolent assimilation, which inevitably led to the outbreak of the war (February 1899). During this struggle Elwell Otis led a force of twenty thousand US soldiers at the head of which swept all organized resistance on the Islands in the course of only six months, although this employed controversial tactics that caused numerous victims among the civilian population and earned him a fame of cruel military.
It was relieved of the post in may 1900 by one of the generals who had most distinguished themselves under their command, Arthur McArthur, returning to the United States that same year in reward for services rendered in the Philippines, Elwell S. Otis was promoted to the rank of major general, although not already returned to initiate any charge of relevance and retired from service in 1902.