Obrázky stránek

The Pacific Entrance to the Canal Panama. Isthmian Winerican & PAR Nows Agency & Advertising Burean Bieniowski

and all the delicacies of the French markets. In four years the items of pillows, bolsters, and other bed linen purchased from one Paris firm aggregated $30,000, and this was only one of several firms furnishing this class of material. The purchases of stationery in six months from one firm alone amounted to $15,000 per month. In 1904, the writer saw more than a ton of pen points that had become rusted and useless, thrown away. Verily the material contracts were a good thing for the dealers, but what of the poor peasant who invested his savings in canal shares on a rising market?

“Dingler's Folly” (Folie Dingler.”)


Standing on a handsome terrace on the western slope of Ancon Hill is a building that readily commands attention from passersby via. either the old or new La Boca roads. It was the prospective home of M. Dingler, one of the foremost Director Generals of the French company, but he never occupied it. Work the mansion was started shortly after he came to the Isthmus in February, 1883, and the cost including the grounds is estimated to have been nearly $50,000. For many years it has been known among the French people of Panama, as “Folie Dingler,” or “ Diugler's Folly." At the time the American Government took possession the place had fallen greatly into decay, but needed repairs were made, and for the past three years it has been used by the Department of Sanitation as a quarantine detention station. The experience of M. Dingler on the

of M. Dingler on the Isthmus is, perhaps, the most pathetic in canal history. Stories of the fatal effect the climate of the Isthmus

said to have on foreigners reached France, but Dingler scoffed at these reports. “I am going to show them,” he is reported to have said, “ that only drunkards and the dissipated take the yellow fever and die there.” He brought with him his wife, son and a daughter. His who





[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Chief of Posts, shortly contracted yellow fever and died. Dingler subsequently returned to France on leave of absence and upon the reappearance of himself and family on the Isthmus, his daughter fell victim to Yellow Jack. On the return from a second vacation his wife also sickened and died from the same fatal disease. Dingler afterwards went back to France a broken-hearted man. Later he became insane and died in a mad house.

The Collapse and its Results.

The closing days of 1888 marked the end of the De Lesseps regime.

In December of that year the company went into liquidation, and on February 4, 1889, a receiver of its affairs was appointed by the Civil Tribune of the Seine, with authority to transfer all, or any portion of its assets, to a new corporation. On the Isthmus the work was not definitely suspended until March 15, 1889, although but little work had been accomplished for three months prior to this event.

The suspension of operations threw a small army of laborers out of a job, and an immense annount of suffering resulted. Nine-tenths of the men employed the canal works were from the West Indian islands.

Living only upon what they earned day by day the stoppage of work brought them at once to the verge of destitution. The Jamaican Government however took cognizance of


their condition, and through their Minister Resident appointed thirteen agencies at different points on the line to carry on the work of repatriation. These agencies had up to May 7th, 1889 sent back over 6,000, while 4,000 more went back on their own account. Of the balance of the 20,000 laborers at work on the canal when the crash came, some remained on the Isthmus and the rest migrated to the other West India islands. The work of repatriation cost the Jamaican Government $5.00 per head, or a total of about $30,000. The Chilean Government seeing an opportunity at this time to secure immigrants granted 40,000 free passages from Panama to Valparaiso to all classes except colored people and Chinese, and for several months every mail steamer south took away from 400 to 600.

The report of the receiver showed that the total expenditures made by the canal company the Isthmus amounted to $156,654,687, and the total expenditures in Paris, $78,140,330, a grand total of $234,795,017. Of the items of disbursements at Panama, salaries and expenses of management footed up $16,540,883; rents and maintenance of leased property, $3,301,070; material and supplies, $29,722,856; buildings, $15,397,282; construction and engineering expenses, $89,434,225; land purchases, $950,655, and medical and religious attendance, $1,836,768.

[ocr errors]

"Coming Events Cast Shadows Before.”

03. It is time that we of the southern nations”

Sily's El Porvenir of Cartagena in an article published in April, 1889, commenting on the canal collapse, “should rely on no other assistance for the spread of our industries and to restrain the tendencies of European governments, save that which can be given by our brothers of the North who are interested with us in seeing that only American interests should prevail throughout the length and breadth of the land, :

Let us undeceive ourselves. If the vations of South America yet require a tutor to free

Sombrerería de C. Amadeo Lupi.

Avenida Central, No. 143, PANAMA.



Importación Directa de las Mejores Fábricas de Europa. UNICA CASA QUE 3E OCUPA CON ESPECIALIDAD DE ESTE RAY.O.


MORE THAN ONE HUNDRED DIFFERENT STYLES TO SELECT FROM. Felt Hats, Straw Hats, and Wool Hats, For Men and Children.



them from deceit and to promote their well-being, that tutor should not be and cannot be other than the Government of the United States, which is directly interested in seeing that the map of America should register no other nationalities. It is our opinion that the Panama Canal will be opened owing to the necessity felt by the commercial world for that cheap and commodious route, but in truth we must say that no other country save that of North America can carry to a happy conclusion that great work, since only that country possesses the requisites which are necessary to finish it, and which are: An abundance of money, fitting machinery which cannot be found in other countries, and habits of work united to reasonable economy in expenditures.”

The Star & Herald in an editorial in its issue of May 17th, 1889, under the caption of "Future of Panama, takes a philosophic view of the situation and urges the Isthmian people to bestir themselves and develop the rich possibilities that lie between the two oceans.

« PředchozíPokračovat »