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posal did not meet with a favorable reception, but Louis Napoleon, at that time a State prisoner, took up the latter feature of the scheme with enthusiasm. He petitioned the French Government on the subject, begging to be released in order that he might proceed to America and devote himself to the enterprise, and promising never to return to France. When, shortly afterwards, he escaped to England, he issued a monograph relating to a waterway at Nicaragua and advocating the line that had been marked out by Bailey in 1837. In this pamphlet the author urged England to undertake the work for political considerations. A few years later the distinguished exile returned to France as President of the Republic, and in his plottings for the revival of the Empire the canal project was forgotten.

In 1838 the Republic of New Granada granted to a French company a concession for the establishment of a transit line from the city of Panama to any desirable point on the Atlantic coast by road, rail, or water. Several years were spent by the company in making explorations and surveys. The purported results were conveyed to the French Government in the hope of inducing its aid. The representations, which were recklessly false in many particulars, drew the most alluring picture of conditions at the Isthmus, and concluded the statement that a passage through the mountains existed at an elevation of less than 40 feet above mean sea level. M. Guizot was sufficiently impressed by this report to send an engineer officer to make an investigation on behalf of the Government.

Napoleon Garella, the agent of the French Government, found a very different situation from that which the concessionaires had represented as existing. The lowest pass through the divide was seven or eight times higher than the fanciful depression which had been reported and offered so serious an obstacle that he advocated a tunnel more than three miles long, rather than a cut through it. Nevertheless, Garella reported favorably to the project and submitted a detailed plan for a canal capable of accommodating vessels drawing twenty-one feet of water. This canal was to have thirtysix locks and its estimated cost was $25,000,000.

The Garella report showed the undertaking in much more formidable a light than had that of the projectors that the French Government hesitated to embark upon it. Disappointed in this source of assistance, the company which had secured the concession allowed it to lapse.

About the middle of the nineteenth century, several events occurred that had the effect of increasing the importance to the United States of more direct maritime communication between the coasts of the continent. In 1848, Oregon definitely became a territory of the United States, and in the same year California was ceded to it. The discovery of gold in the latter region immediately stimulated transisthmian travel to great proportions. The favorite routes were those through Nicaragua and across the Panama isthmus. In 1848 a treaty between New Granada and the United States was ratified, giving to the latter nation a right of way for its troops and transport trains.

A similar convention with Nicaragua was desired, and the negotiations were entrusted to Elijah Hise, the representative of the United States in that country. Hise secured from the Republic an extremely favorable agreement which involved the exclusive right to construct roads or waterways through Nicaragua. But these privileges depended upon the United States binding herself to defend Nicaragua against foreign aggression. This was more than the Government at Washington cared to undertake, and the treaty arranged by Hise was not ratified.

At that time Great Britain was advancing the contention that the boundaries of her territory on the Mosquito coast included the mouth of the San Juan River, which was the terminus of practically every Nicaraguan canal route that had been suggested. At the same time the British began to execute designs for securing possession of Fonseca Bay, the most favorable terminal on the farther coast. The United States exerted diplomatic activity to checkmate these plans, and in the prosecution of their conflicting interests, the two nations came to the verge of war.

The famous Clayton-Bulwer Treaty of 1850 provided for an adjustment of the difficulty. The principal points of the agreement were that each of the contracting powers should do all in its power to promote the construction of a canal at Nicaragua by rendering support and aid to any company, with sufficient capital, that might secure a concession for the

for the purpose; that they should mutually protect the neutrality of the contemplated waterway and that neither should seek to secure exclusive control of it, nor erect any fortifications along it.

An American company had, in the previous year, obtained a franchise from Nicaragua for a ship canal through its territory, and a clause in the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty made provision for the protection of its rights. Leaving the construction of the canal in abeyance for the time, and seeking to meet the immediate demand for transportation as expeditiously as possible, the members of this company formed another organization named the Accessory Transit Company, and secured for it the right to operate a combined water and land line in connection with steamships on either coast. In the year 1852 the Accessory Transit Company began the operation of this line and maintained it for many years until the disturbances consequent upon Walker's filibustering expeditions led to its abandonment.

No work was ever done by the American Atlantic and Pacific Company upon the canal for which they had obtained a franchise, but Colonel Childs was employed by them to make an instrumental survey of the route and locate a line for the waterway. The survey by Colonel Childs was the first reliable one of consequence

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