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resolution, appointing commission under Admiral Animen, U. S. N., for ex
ploration on the Isthmus.
Colombia gives Lieut. Lucien N. B. Wyse concession to build inter
oceanic canal, 1878.
International congress of engineers, 135 delegates of wbom 11 were
from United Statesmeetsin Paris under leadership of Ferdinand de Lesseps,
to consider canal project, in May, 1879.
De Lesseps, -who built Suez" canal, chosen to construct Panama canal,
Work begun on sea level canal to be finished in eight years at cost of
French courts dissolved Panama Canal Co. because of financial diffi
culties in 1889. Expenditures up to that time had been more than $400,000,
000 and the assets of the concern amounted to a little over $150,000,000.
New Panama Canal Co. organized 1894, with capital,of $13,000,000.
President McKlnley appoints .first Isthmian canal .commission in 1899,
with Admiral J. G. Walker, U. S. N., at head.
Walker commission reportsfavbring Nicaraguan canal, but later makes
supplementary report favoring Panama. Price named by Panama Com
pany for its holdings Is $40,000,000,,which commission thinks is fair.
United States accepts offer of Panama Company, 1902, after heated
debate regarding choice of routes between Panama and Nicaragua.
Senate finally ratifies treaty with Colombia, closing up canal purchase
March, 1903, treaty provides payment of $10,000,000 to Colombia and
$250,000 annually beginning nine years after date of exchange of treaty
In June, 1903, Colombia senate met invprptracted session, finally fail
ing to ratify treaty, creating great dissatisfactipn in Panama, which on
Nov. 4 finally seceded from Colombia and set-up Hepubllc of Panama.
United States recognizes Republic of Panaina'.Nov. 13, 1903.
Treaty, regarding canal concluded Nov. 18rl9d3.
Senate on Feb. 23 1904", ratifies treaty granting United States per
petual use,-occupation and control of, zone of land 10 miles in width be
tween cities of Colon and Panama, excluding those cities, but placing them
under U. S. sanitary regulations.
. Col. W. C. Gorgas, U. S. A., appointed sanitary officer March 1, 1904.
Commission charged with duty of constructing canal appointed June,
1904, with Admiral Walker at head and John F. Wallace as chief engineer.
Preliminary construction work begins.
Theodore P. Shonts appointed head of canal commission, 1905.
John F. Stevens made chief engineer, 1905.
Board of consulting engineers, including eight' American "and five for
eign, visit canal June, 1905, and report in favor of sealevel plan, with minor
ity report from five Americans favoring lock system. Canal commission
favors lock system. President Roosevelt recommends lock canal. Con
gress finally authorizes lock system, May, 19Q6. Work on final plans actual
ly begun with private contractors in charge of sections. Private contract
work fails to come up to requirements.
Radical change in canal commission made, entire work being turned
over to United States army engineers under leadership of Lieut. Col. George
W. Goethals, with Lieut. Col. David DuB. Galliard, Lieut. Col. W. L. Siberf
of the corps of engineers, Col. W. C. Gorgas of the medical department and
U. G. Rosseau, civil engineer, U. S. N., all of whom were madje members
of jthe sommission,.the .changes taking place Feb. 26, 1907, at which date'1