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This digital collection contains letters which reflect ongoing tensions between Americans and Panamanians in the mid-1850s. Most of the correspondence is addressed to Captain Theodorus Bailey, commander of the United States Ship St. Mary's. Five of the letters concern a group of American passengers traveling by train from Aspinwall, on the Atlantic Coast, to Panama City, on the Pacific Coast, on their journey to California. There is also a letter to a J. Hawes from Cornelius Vanderbilt, who was deeply involved in Central American politics since he was at this time trying to establish an alternative route through Nicaragua to compete with the Panama route. The other letters deal with Navy business.
Finding Aid to Panama Collection