« PředchozíPokračovat »
the water. One of these expeditions set out on the trail, but is was so harassed along the route that it retired. Everywhere were evidences of preparedness, and Drake gave up the attempt. On January 15, he burned the village of Nombre de Dios, and sailed down the coast to Porto Bello where he died February 7.
A few years ago a dredge was sent to Nombre de Dios to dig sand for the concrete of the locks at Gatun. After digging for some time into the sandy beach it unearthed a quantity of old bullets, some silver, and ship's iron. It was said by the dredgemen that they encountered a large obstacle that resembled the hull of a ship. These objects dug up from the sand are all that remain to remind one of the days when Nombre de Dios was the royal port. Today it is the site of a native village, and a coconut grove is being set out there by a Colon merchant. Over a million cubic yards of sand have been taken from the beach and used in Gatun Locks, and its value is many times greater than all the booty the English took away.
On the map which was published with Esquemeling's narrative in 1683 two large crosses appear at the point of
the Chagres River where the boats unloaded Cruces. their freight for carriage overland to Panama.
These crosses are probably the origin of the name Las Cruces, which means “the crosses.” The village was important, but never in its own right. It was the embarkation point for freight from Panama down the river and the point at which freight upbound was transferred to mule back. There were few storehouses at this point, and in fact it was only a village where boatmen, mule drivers, and cargomen lived. One may see there today two old bells, apparently left there on the way to Panama, and two old anchors with 14-foot shanks, likewise left there in transit. In 1911 it was proposed to remove the anchors to West Point but the untimely publication of the project led to a protest at Washington, and the anchors were allowed to remain where they have been for at least three centuries. Cruces of the present is a hamlet of Spanish and English negroes which smells bad in dry weather and is very muddy in the rainy season. New
At the point on the San Blas coast of Calidonia. Panama marked on the map on page 59,
“Calidonia Bay," a band of Scotchmen struggled for 18 months in 1698-1700 to establish a free trading colony right in the heart of the Spanish Main. One more failure was the result.
At Puerto Escosces (Scotch Harbor) today there is a settlement of Panamans; and the teacher of the village school, when asked about the Scotch colony recently, answered—“It was long ago; no one here remembers when." In a chapter of his book on Panama, Albert Edwards tells charmingly the story of the attempt, and the reasons why it failed. The scheme was originated by that William Paterson who made the plan for the Bank of England, and was fostered by the Scotch parliament in an effort to divert to Scotland some of the world-trade which the East India Company had centered in London. The determined opposition of the East India Company forced the new project to raise funds only in Scotland; just as the railroad companies of today were able to smother the project for an independent line of American ships to use the Panama Canal. Therefore from the start the colony was short of funds.
The first expedition sailed from Leith on July 26, 1698, and on November 1 landed at the harbor where Pedrarais had built the village of Acla. Internal dissensions, sickness, and opposition from England discouraged the colonists, who lacked a real leader, and they left their village of "New Edinburgh” and its half-built "Fort of St. Andrew," in June, 1699. On August 13 of that same year, a reinforcing party arrived at New Edinburgh, but finding the place deserted they sailed away, only 12 of the 300 who set out from Scotland remaining.
On November 30, 1699, another expedition, this time four ships and 1,200 colonists, arrived and joined the dauntless twelve. Albert Edwards follows Sir John Dalrymple in alleging that the colonists were divided among themselves by selfish ministers of the Scotch church. But without the internal differences, they were bound to fail. For four months they fought sickness, starvation, Spaniards, and one another. Finally a strong Spanish fleet began a blockade, while a land force invested the town. The colony surrendered “with honors of war," and on April 11, 1700, sailed away, most of them to become indentured servants in Jamaica and Barbados. Says Albert Edwards:
“The Company of Scotland, trading to Africa and the Indies was bankrupt. They had squandered 2,000 lives and over £200,000 on Paterson's dream. But the dreamer recovering from the fever in New York, returned to Scotland
and became again the practical man of affairs. Paterson spent the remainder of his life in a successful effort to pay back twenty shillings to the pound on this immense debt."
The section of Panama between the Tuyra and Chucunaque Rivers and the border of Colombia is known by the
term “The Darien.” It is a region rather Old Darién. than a definitely bounded territory. Through
this land, over its high mountains and through its primeval forests and dense jungles, Balboa made his way with his little band of 76 Spaniards and a few score friendly Indians in the year 1513. From the top of one of its hills he first saw the Pacific, or that part of it which he called the Gulf of St. Michael (Gulf of San Miguel). Here he made friends with the Indians, heard stories about the islands rich in pearls, and the gold-heavy land southward,. later called Peru. He stood on the shore of the Pacific in Darien and looked across to the islands, which he called the Pearl Islands, as they are called today. He named the largest one Isla Rica (Rich Island), which is now known as Rey Island, the king of the group. Through the Darien, Morales and Pizarro later made their bloody way to visit the Pearl Islands, and brought back to Acla the traditional basket of pearls.
From the time of Pizarro to this the Darien has been closed to all white men, except those who forced a way. The old route was abandoned when Panama was founded, in 1517. In the section near the Tuyra River; however, the Spaniards maintained posts, and it was here that they worked many mines by slave labor. But it was always at the cost of continual war, for the Indians were hostile and relentless.
In 1786, a systematic attempt to colonize this rich region was begun. Three strong posts were established on the Atlantic side, on the Gulf of Uraba, Calidonia Bay, and an inland post, Carolina del Darien. On the Pacific side the fort of Principe was built, and posts on the Tuyra, Sabanas, and Chucunaque were established. Meanwhile a new viceroy came into power at Bogota, and in 1789 the posts were abandoned and destroyed by the Spaniards. They had already made a treaty of peace with the Indians, whose caciques had sworn allegiance to the King of Spain, and work had been begun on a highway that was to connect the Gulf of San Miguel with Calidonia Bay. This was the last attempt to colonize the Darien.
Today the country is virgin land, except along the principal rivers near the Gulf of San Miguel, where there are some plantations, and at Cana, where gold is mined. More about "the Darien” will be found in the section on The Republic of Panama.
Things Not True. It is difficult to get an absolutely uncolored statement of fact from anyone, and especially difficult from an American in Panama. Most of us came to the Isthmus from very narrow lives in the States, and, thrown at one fling into an absolutely new life, our imaginations became at once unbalanced. In many cases, they have remained so. It is, therefore, not too much to say that many of the tales told tourists are untrue. Among the more common are the following:
"Balboa Hill” at Gorgona is really Cerro Gigante (the great hill). Balboa never saw it. He crossed the Isthmus from the San Blas coast to the Bay of San Miguel, fully 120 miles east of the so-called "Balboa Hill.” It is 1,149 feet high.
The Death Rate during the construction of the Panama Railroad was not so high that the road cost a life for every tie. Gen. Geo. W. Davis, first Governor of the Canal Zone, has figured it out that this would have been 140,000 deaths in a labor force that never numbered over 7,000, and was engaged only five years. The death rate in the days of the French Canal Companies is also greatly exaggerated.
The Sloth pointed out to the tourist as a black thing hanging from a tree is really an ants' nest. The sloth does hang from a tree, but not alongisde the railroad tracks or highways.
Free Quarters, lights, and fuel are not furnished canal employes. These form part of the contract the employe makes with the Government and are just as much a part of his pay as his monthly salary.
The United States Gave Panama nothing. It paid $10,000,000 for a permanent lease of the Canal Zone and the right to exercise sovereignty therein. After 1913, it will pay a rental of $250,000 a year. It laid pavements, put in water systems, and sewers, and the Panamans are paying for this work, with interest. The United States has been liberal in its deal.