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name of the American Atlantic and Pacific Ship Canal Company, and a survey was made by the United States Topographical Engineer Corps, under the direction of this government.

The discovery of gold in California had greatly stimulated public interest in the canal question, and the immense traffic across the isthmus, made necessary by the lack of transportation facilities overland, caused the organization in New York of a company, under the leadership of General Aspinwall, for the construction of a railway between the two oceans. A concession was obtained from New Granada, with a stipulation on the part of the government of the United States that it would guarantee free and uninterrupted traffic across the isthmus, and the protection of the property of the company. The road was constructed and is still in operation, but the project of building a canal was not abandoned, although the Vanderbilt Company did not undertake the work. From 1850 to 1860 repeated surveys were made under the direction of the United States government, covering all possible routes from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec to the Isthmus of Darien (Panama), and several canal companies were organized, but nothing further was accomplished. Soon after, the Civil War diverted the attention of the public.

When General Grant became President he revived the plan with great earnestness, for he was a strong advocate of the practicability and necessity of an interoceanic canal. Several expeditions were organized under his direction, and both military and naval engineers were engaged in the search for a more economical route than had hitherto been discovered. A new treaty was negotiated with Colombia for the construction of a canal by the United States government across the Isthmus of Panama, and was submitted to the Senate in 1870, but failed of ratification. President Grant was not discouraged,

but in 1872 appointed a commission to take the subject again under consideration, which ordered new surveys and reported three years later in favor of the Nicaragua route,

The report of the commission was submitted to Congress by President Hayes, but no action was taken.

The government of Colombia, having taken offense at the report of this commission in favor of a canal across Nicaragua by way of the River San Juan and Lakes Nicaragua and Managua, entered into negotiations with the French government, and granted a concession to a company, of which Ferdinand de Lesseps, who had just completed the Suez Canal, was president, to construct a canal across the Isthmus of Panama. This company immediately organized and commenced operations, but the undertaking was regarded with great disfavor in the United States, and several resolutions were proposed in Congress asserting that the Monroe doctrine was a cardinal principle in our national policy, and that no canal across the isthmus could be permitted unless constructed under the auspices and protection of the United States. (The committee on foreign affairs of the House of Representatives made an elaborate report on the subject, in which they held that the construction of a water way upon the American continent by foreign capital, under the charter of a foreign government, was in violation of the spirit of the Mònroe doctrine, and that the United States "would assert and maintain control over any such water way by whomsoever constructed so far as was necessary to protect its national interest, means of defense, unity, and safety, and to advance the prosperity and augment the commerce of the Atlantic and Pacific States of the Union.")

President Hayes, in transmitting to Congress various documents relating to the subject, expressed the sentiment of the country in his message when he said:

"1. The policy of this country is a canal under American

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control. If existing treaties or the rights of sovereignty or property of other nations stand in the way of this policy, negotiations should be entered into to establish the American policy consistently with the rights of the nations to be affected by it.

"2. The capital invested in the enterprise must look for protection to one or more of the great powers of the world. No European power can be allowed to intervene for such protection. The United States 'must exercise such control as will enable this country to protect its national interests and maintain the rights of those whose private capital is embarked in the work.'

"3. Such a canal would virtually be 'a part of the coast line of the United States'; and its relations to this country 'are matters of paramount concern to the people of the United States. No other great power would, under similar circumstances, fail to assert a rightful control over a work so closely and vitally affecting its interest and welfare.'"

President Garfield, in his inaugural address, alluding to the De Lesseps enterprise, said: “We shall urge no narrow policy, nor seek peculiar or exclusive privileges in any commercial route; but, in the language of my predecessor, I believe it to be 'the right and duty of the United States to assert and maintain such supervision and authority over any interoceanic canal across the isthmus that connects North and South America as will protect our national interests.'"'

One of the first state papers of the Garfield administration was devoted to this subject and was addressed to Mr. Lowell, the United States minister to England.

It asserted that this government did not desire exclusive privileges for American ships in time of peace and would not interfere with the enterprise as a commercial one, but would insist that the political control of the canal must be in this

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country, for the reason that the possessions of the United States upon the Pacific coast are imperial in extent and would supply the larger part of the traffic. Nor would the United States consent to an agreement between the powers of Europe to guarantee the neutrality and control of the political character of the canal, on the ground that such an agreement affecting the political condition or the commerce of the American continent would be attended with danger to the peace and welfare of this nation. "The position of the United States on this question," the paper continued, "had been long and well understood, and the principles of the doctrine which had been enunciated a century before are familiarly interwoven into our national policy."

Earl Granville replied that the position of England toward the canal was based upon the terms of the Clayton-Bulwer treaty; but this government retorted that the Clayton-Bulwer treaty was made thirty years before, under conditions that were temporary in their nature, and that the remarkable development of the Pacific coast of the United States required modifications in the terms, which practically conceded to Great Britain the control of any canal that might be constructed. The fact that Great Britain maintains a vast naval armament, gave that country an advantage over the United States which would be decisive in case of a possible struggle for the control of the water way, because the treaty binds this government not to use military force, while it leaves the naval power of Great Britain free and unrestrained. If no American army was to be allowed on the isthmus, no war vessels of Europe would be permitted to control the waters at either entrance of the canal. The United States, it was argued, was simply seeking to defend its interests as Great Britain defended hers, and it would be equally reasonable for the United States to demand a share in the fortifica

tions that commanded the Suez Canal as for Great Britain to make a similar demand in reference to the canal across the isthmus. Great Britain, therefore, should not object to the United States assuming absolute control of any canal which shall unite the two oceans, and which this government will always regard and treat as a part of our coast line.

The United States then proposed a modification of the Clayton-Bulwer treaty in five particulars as follows:

(1) Every part which forbids the United States fortifying the canal and holding the political control of it in conjunction with the country in which it is located, to be canceled.

(2) Every part in which Great Britain and the United States agree to make no acquisition of territory in Central America, to remain in full force.

(3) No objection to maintaining the clause looking to the establishment of a free port at each end of the proposed canal. (4) The clause to the effect that treaty stipulations should be made for a joint protectorate of any railway or canal never having been perfected, to be regarded as obsolete.

(5) The distance from either end of the canal where, in time of war, captures might be made, to be as liberal as possible.

The correspondence was continued for several years, Great Britain holding that the declarations of the United States were distinctly at variance with the terms of the ClaytonBulwer treaty.

In the meantime work was commenced upon the Panama Canal and continued until the funds of the company were exhausted, when it was abandoned for lack of capital. During the intervening years another company was organized in the United States, with General Grant as president, for the construction of a canal across Nicaragua. A charter was sought from Congress and a new concession was obtained from Nicaragua, but it was found impossible to raise the necessary

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