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III, CLAYTON-BULWER TREATY-Continued
7. Messages of President Hayes, $ 359.
Treaty of February 5, 1900.
Resolution of Second International American Conference.
Instructions of Mr. Fish, 1873.
Insurrection of 1894, and subsequent events.
The route by Panama.
I. EARLY DECLARATIONS OF AMERICAN POLICY.
“A cut or canal for purposes of navigation somewhere through the
isthmus that connects the two Americas, to unite the Instructions to del
Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, will form a proper subegates to Panama Congress. ject of consideration at the congress.
That vast object, if it should be ever accomplished, will be interesting, in a greater or less degree, to all parts of the world. But to this continent will probably accrue the largest amount of benefit from its execution; and to Colombia, Mexico, the Central Republic, Peru, and the United States, more than to any other of the American nations. What is to redound to the advantage of all America should be effected by common means and united exertions, and should not be left to the separate and unassisted efforts of any one power. If the work should ever be executed so as to admit of the passage of sea vessels from ocean to ocean, the benefits of it ought not to be exclusively appropriated to any one nation, but should be extended to all parts of the globe upon the payment of a just compensation or reasonable tolls."
Mr. Clay, Sec. of State, to Messrs. Anderson and Sergeant, United States
representatives to the Panama Congress, May 8, 1826, Proceedings of
the Int. Am. Conference (1889-1890), IV. 113, 143. See, as to the neutralization of territory, supra, § 178.
“Resolvedl, That the President of the United States be respectfully
requested to consider the expediency of opening negoSenate resolution, 1835.
tiations with the governments of other nations, and par
ticularly with the governments of Central America and New Granada, for the purpose of effectually protecting, by suitable treaty stipulations with them, such individuals or companies as may undertake to open a communication between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, by the construction of a ship canal across the isthmus which connects North and South America, and of securing forever, by such stipulations, the free and equal right of navigating such canal to all such nations, on the payment of such reasonable tolls as may be established, to compensate the capitalists who may engage in such undertaking and complete the work.”
Resolution of the Senate of the United States, adopted March 3, 1835. (Sen
ate Journal, 23 Cong. 2 sess. 238.) In order to comply with this resolution, President Jackson appointed Mr.
Charles Biddle to make an investigation of transit routes. Mr. Biddle's instructions bear date May 1, 1835, and are signed by Mr. Forsyth, Secretary of State. They directed him to proceed to the San Juan River and ascend it to Lake Nicaragua, and then to go “by the contemplated route of communication by canal or railroad to the Pacific Ocean.” He was then to repair to Guatemala and procure copies of any lavs passed to incorporate companies to carry the undertaking into effect, of any conventions entered into with foreign powers on the subject, and of any plans, surveys or estimates in relation to it. From Guatemala he was to proceed to Panama and make inquiries concerning the proposed railway across the isthmus and examine the route. He was then to repair to Bogota, and obtain any public documents relating to the proposed railway, and particularly a copy of the law of May 22, 1834, relating to it, a translation of which accompanied his instructions. (Mr. Forsyth, Sec. of Sta'e, to Mr. Biddle, special agent, May 1, 1835, MS. Inst. Special Missions, I. 126.) See, also, Mr. Forsyth, Sec. of State, to Mr. De Witt, chargé d'affaires at Guatemala,
May 1, 1835, MS. Inst. Am. States, XV. 16. “Your despatches nos. 9 & 10, reached me on the 25th ultimo, with ref
erence to Lord Palmerston's note of the 19th of October last, requesting information relative to Colonel Biddle. I have to state that the only appointment ever held by him under this Government was an informal agency to make inquiries in Spanish America,-in pursuance of a resolution of the Senate dated 3d March, 1835,-into the existing state of the projects for uniting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans through the Isthmus of Darien. Having executed this commission, Colonel Biddle returned to the United States in September last, and has since died at Philadelphia. If he has recently visited Europe, as is supposed by Lord Palmerston, for any purpose, either public or private, the fact is unknown to this Department. The above information, should it be deemed of sufficient interest, you are at liberty to communicate to Lord Palmerston. Probably the British minister wishes to have some information on the subject of the grant which, it is said, Colonel Biddle, associated with certain Colombian citizens, and British subjects, has obtained from the Colombian Government to open a communication across the Isthmus
of Darien by steamboats and railroad. In that grant this Government
the United States at Bogota, “ to disclaim all connection with the proj-
App., vol. 27, p. 251.)
to which a permanent and conventional neutrality is assured, may,
In 1839, the canal question was taken up in the House of Represent
atives, on a memorial of merchants of New York and House resolution,
Philadelphia, on which an elaborate report was made
by Mr. Mercer, from the Committee on Roads and Canals. The report in conclusion proposed a resolution that the President should be requested "to consider the expediency of opening or continuing negotiations with the governments of other nations, and particularly with those the territorial jurisdiction of which comprehends the Isthmus of Panama, and to which the l'nited States have accredited ministers or agents, for the purpose of ascertaining the practicability of effecting a communication between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, by the construction of a ship canal across the isthmus, and of securing forever, by suitable treaty stipulations, the free and equal right of navigating such canal to all nations.” This resolution was unanimously agreed to by the House. Cong. Globe, 32 Cong. 3 sess., App., vol. 97, p. 251. See Message of Presi
dent Van Buren, March 12, 1838, with report of Mr. Forsyth, Sec. of State, and accompanying correspondence, in relation to the expediency of opening negotiations with other nations with a view to the construction of a ship canal across the Isthmus of Darien. (H. Ex. Doc. 228,
25 Cong. 2 sess.) “The progress of events has rendered the interoceanic routes across
the narrow portions of Central America vastly imporDuty of local sov
tant to the commercial world, and especially to the ereign.
United States, whose possessions extending along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts demand the speediest and easiest modes of communication. While the just rights of sovereignty of the States occupying this region should always be respected, we shall expect that these rights will be exercised in a spirit befitting the occasion and the wants and circumstances that have arisen. Sovereignty has its duties as well as its rights, and none of these local governments, even if administered with more regard to the just demands of other nations than they have been, would be permitted, in a spirit of Eastern isolation, to close these gates of intercourse on the great highways of the world, and justify the act by the pretension that these avenues of trade and travel belong to them, and that they choose to shut them, or, what is almost equivalent, to encumber them with such unjust regulations as would prevent their general use."
Mr. Cass, Sec. of State, to Mr. Lamar, min. to Cent. Am., July 25, 1858,
Correspondence in relation to the Proposed Interoceanic Canal (Washington, 1885), 281.
II. ISTHMUS OF PANAMA.
1. ARTICLE XXXV., TREATY OF 1846.
“The United States of America and the Republic of New Granada, desiring to make as durable as possible the relations which are to be established between the two parties by virtue of this treaty, have declared solemnly, and do agree to the following points:
“1st. For the better understanding of the preceding articles, it is and has been stipulated between the high contracting parties, that the citizens, vessels and merchandise of the United States shall enjoy in the ports of New Granada, including those of the part of the Granadian territory generally denominated Isthmus of Panama, from its southernmost extremity until the boundary of Costa Rica, all the exemptions, privileges and immunities concerning commerce and navigation, which are now or may hereafter be enjoyed by Granadian citizens, their vessels and merchandise; and that this equality of favors shall be made to extend to the passengers, correspondence and merchandise of the United States, in their transit across the said territory, from one sea to the other. The Government of New Granada guarantees to the Government of the United States that the right of way or transit across the Isthmus of Panama upon any modes of communication that now exist, or that may be hereafter constructed, shall be open and free to the Government and citizens of the United States, and for the transportation of any articles of produce, manufactures or merchandise, of lawful commerce, belonging to the citizens of the United States; that no other tolls or charges shall be levied or collected upon the citizens of the United States, or their said merchandise thus passing over any road or canal that may be made by the Government of New Granada, or by the authority of the same, than is, under like circumstances, levied upon and collected from the Granadian citizens; that any lawful produce, manufactures or merchandise belonging to citizens of the United States, thus passing from one sea