Reports of Explorations and Surveys for the Location of a Ship-canal Between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, Through Nicaragua. 1872-'73

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U.S. Government Printing Office, 1874 - Discoveries in geography - 143 pages
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Page 136 - It is true,' said Gomara to the Emperor, ' that mountains obstruct these passes, but if there are mountains, there are also hands. Let but the resolve be made, there will be no want of means ; the Indies, to which the passage will be made, will supply them. To a King of Spain, with the wealth of the Indies at his command, when the object to be attained is the spice trade, what is possible is easy.
Page 138 - In order to give facility to the great object of the government I intend to possess the Lake of Nicaragua, which for the present may be looked upon as the inland Gibraltar of Spanish America. As it commands the only water pass between the oceans, its situation must ever render it a principal post to insure passage to the Southern Ocean, and by our possession of it Spanish America is divided in two.
Page 136 - ... the project of a canal was in every one's thoughts. In the very wayside talks in the inns of Spain, when a traveler from the New World chanced to pass, after making him tell of the wonders of Lima and Mexico, of the death of the Inca, Atahualpa, and the bloody defeat of the Aztecs, and after asking his opinion of El Dorado, the question was always about the two oceans, and what great thing would happen if they could succeed in joining them.
Page 44 - We examined all the wells that we met, and found them from 100 to over ,'jOO4 feet deep. If a canal were built through this region it would be impossible to keep it full unless it were made artificially water-tight from one end to the other, which would involve a cost equal to that of the excavation. For all of these reasons we regard the route as utterly impracticable.
Page 56 - This line of levels was carried through a distance of 119 miles by the river, asid when compared with the line on the Pacific side, "showed the elevation of the lake to be absolutely the same above mean tide of either sea. When the character of the ground passed over is considered, this coincidence seems quite remarkable, and shows with what extreme care the work was executed."* While this work was in progress, a survey was made along that portion of the valley of the San Juan where the canal would...
Page 44 - We found one other objection, which would of itself be fatal to the line : the geological formation of that part of the country is entirely volcanic ; a line of volcanoes, nine in number, and all more or less active, extends from the lake toward Realejo, nearly parallel to, and in close proximity with, the proposed line of canal. While writing these pages news comes of the...
Page 137 - Papagayo, (at 10 50' of latitude.) The old maps point out a communication by water as existing across the isthmus from the lake to the Great Ocean. Other maps, somewhat newer, represent a river under the name of Rio Partido, which gives one of its branches to the Pacific Ocean, and the other to the lake of Nicaragua ; but this divided stream does not appear on the last maps published by the Spaniards and English. There are in the archives of Madrid several French and English memoirs,* on the possibility...
Page 37 - ... which intersect the line, the other the existence, or non-existence of accessible locations for the deposit of materials excavated. Of course, in comparing different routes, the points have to be considered together, as it often happens that a route superior in one respect is inferior in another. * * * "Fortunately a great deal was known in advance in regard to the western division of the work. The country had been more or less explored, and at least one line had been reported as extremely favorable,...
Page 61 - Navy, who made a survey of the San Juan River in 1873, was not at all hopeful that the suggestions of the committee could be carried into effect. He remarks in his report: "A committee of the National Academy of Sciences in 1867 proposed, as a partial remedy for the decay of the river and harbor, the dredging out of the channel of the Lower San Juan and the construction of a weir from Leaf's Island to Concepcion Island. The latter of these is in the main river, near its right bank, and above the...
Page 81 - Map and profile of the route for the construction of a ship canal from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, across the isthmus in the State of Nicaragua.

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