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The Nicaragua and Isthmian Canal Commission Papers digital collection includes correspondence, memoranda, reports, photographs and articles concerning the Nicaraguan and Isthmian Canal Commissions. Subjects covered include the Nicaraguan route and its subsequent abandonment, the Isthmian route and the negotiations with the surrounding country of Colombia, and the purchase by the United States of the assets of the New Panama Canal Company, a French concession. The papers provide insight into the decision-making process in which the United States government engaged regarding the canal routes from 1824 to 1904. The bulk of the correspondence is between members of the two commissions and between the head of the commissions, Admiral John G. Walker, and the director of the French company, Maurice Hutin. Photographs show early stages of canal construction in 1897 and 1898, commission members, and the houses of local residents which had to be acquired and demolished in order to build the canal.
Finding Aid to Nicaragua and Isthmian Canal Commission Papers, 1889-1904