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ADDRESS ALL COLUNICITIONS TO
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No. 16 South Ave., Panama,
The Comite Technique left as a heritage a vast amount of valuable papers bearing upon surveys and chartings which have been used to good purpose by the Isthmian Canal Commission. Apart from these, the results of the efforts of the new company were small. The actual construction work was confined principally to excavating in Culebra cut, and work at the Pacific entrance to the canal. Not to exceed 3,000 men were on the company's pay rolls at any one time, as compared with the maximum number of 25,000 in the best days of the old company.
The amount of excavation done by the two French companies during the active period of their existence is shown by the following data:
Highest elevation at Cuebra before work began
148 ft. 70,000,000 Cu. Yds.
MUTTERINGS OF SEPARATION, .
Talk of separation bobbed to the surface repeatedly during the interval of eighty or more years between Panama's independence from Spain, and the secession movement of 1903. The tie that bound her to the Granadine Confederation, and later to Colombia had always been a galling one. It was continually a game of give and take, with Panama in the charity role.
The people of the Isthmus were not long in sizing up the situation, and as early as 1827 started a separation movement, which had for its aim anexation with Great Britain. The prime movers of this, set forth the fact that the commercial relations of Panama with the interior departments of Colombia amounted to but little; natural barriers preventing free intercourse, and complained that the inhabitants of the southern part of the republic treated the people of the Isthmus as foreigners and preyed on their commerce. Before the movement had gained much headway however, the patriot, Bolivar stepped into the breach and pacified the secessionists.
The next attempt at separation occurred on November 18, 1840 when the people of the city of Panama, under the leadership of Col. Tomas Herrera arose en masse and proclaimed their independence. Inasmuch as the civil head of the Isthmus, Dr. Carlos de Icaza, was himself in sympathy with the movement, no opposition was offered by the authorities.
Dr. Rufino Cuervo, at that time Minister of Colombia at Quito, hearing of what was going on in Panama sent Col. Anselmo Pineda and Dr. Ricardo de la Parra there with the object of discouraging the movement, and to reincorporate the Isthmus into the Granadine Confederation. The commissioners promised a much better adminis
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tration of affairs in which Panama was concerneil, and full amnesty for those connected with the separation plot. In view of the fact that these promises were backed by guarantees from Dr. Cuervo, Gen. Juan José Flores, and the President of Ecuador, the people of the Isthmus entered into a new treaty on December 31, 1841, by which Pana
once more became a member of the New Granadian League.
In March 1842, Domingo Caicedo, then Vice-President of New Granada, repudiated this treaty, claiming that Dr. Cuervo and Dr. Pärra had exceeded their powers, and in the same year the Granadia! Congress repudiated the law granting annesty to the Panameños. Many of the latter to avoid persecution were forced to expatriate themselves.
Another agitation for independence was started in 1860, fostered by José de Obaldia, then Gorernor. At this period New Granada was badly disorganized, having just been racked by civil war, which resulterl in the pro
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claiming of Tomas Cipriano Mosquera, dictator. Obaldia thought the time propitious and announced his intentions to the Bogota Government, advising that it was proposed to set up an establishment under the protectorate of either the United States, France or England. At this juncture, Obaldia was succeeded by Santiago de la Guardia, as Governor, ard the latter reglected to follow up the advantage. Mosquera by this time had gotten his political affairs str: ightened out somewhat, and turned his attention to the Istl.mus. In 1861, he sent a deputy to Colon to meet the Isthmians and arrange a new treaty which provided for more promises and guarantees, but in less than a year Mosquera saw fit to repudiate the agreement.
On Feb. 27, 1855, the Government of New Granada conferred on the Isthmus, the title of “State of Panama," and the rights and privileges of a sovereign state, it distinction not sh:red in by the other provinces of the Republic. It is doubtful however, if this act ever resulted in any benetit, direct or indirect, to the people of Panama.
IN THE THROES OF REVOLUTION. .
The political history of the Isthmus is marked by many a wo id and many a scar, but its troubled waters has been stirred so often in times past that the breaking out of a revolution ceased to excite more than passing comment abroad. Many of these internecine struggles were insignificant in their nature and of short duration, but the war of 1900 to 1902 was of an entirely different character and corstituted the most sanguinary epoch in the annals of the Isthmus.
The trouble first started in the interior of Colombia, and before hostilities were finally suspended, the flame of