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of treaty rights; hence special chapters are devoted to a full, general discussion of these subjects.
It was thought to be beneficial to give a short history of the Suez Canal; a comparing of notes, with the canal at Panama.
Under the national law as lately amended, there is no longer to be discrimination in tolls in favor of any customer using the canal; still, how long might it be before adverse political sentiment would again install toll exemption in favor of coastwise or other shipping industries? It is entirely proper, even now, to keep fresh the theories and principles upon which the repeal act was founded. A valid argument today may still be a convincing argument tomorrow upon the same subject matter, brought forward for discussion. Foundation principles are not so easily overthrown, nor do they quickly lose their virtue and vitality.
How fortunate, in this time of world-wide war, that we have adjusted the canal toll question, and stand before the nations on the high pedestal of honor, fairness and impartial justice. We have shown that we are in our international dealings above all sordid and petty selfishness; that our mission is to be an aid to civilization, rather than a ponderous burden thereon; and that our purpose in life is to build up and not destroy. How quickly in time of disaster and war, radicalism gives way to rational conservatism. A wise conservatism should be indicative of a normal state of mind; radicalism is abnormal. See the catastrophe in Belgium: war waged against a neutral nation, the result of a violation of a sacred treaty of neutrality. About two years ago General Von Bernhardi of the German army, in a military book, as stated in the public press, prophesied that a war between Germany and France was probable and that Germany might invade
France through Belgium. Speaking of neutrality treaties, he boldly asserted that neutrality was only a "paper bulwark." He no doubt meant that it could be violated with impunity by a nation able to justify her act in successful battle. This only shows that nations should be slow in making treaties and then not artfully ignore them.
In this present work we have no self-interest to serve, having no relations with ships or railroads. Our views are based on the facts surrounding the acquisition of the canal lands and the pledges of history. The lines have been marked and we should, as near as possible, walk by them.
This publication has its source-springs back in 1912, when toll exemption was first brought before the country; and when the proposal was lately made in Congress to repeal the act, we received favors from the public press by their printing a number of letters which we contributed in the interest of the repeal bill. We recognize our obligations to the Public Ledger and The Press of Philadelphia, and the Every Evening and the Morning News of Wilmington, Del.
In preparing this work we were aided by the loan of books (by the score) by the Wilmington Public Library, and by data furnished by the working force of the library. A very important service was rendered by Senators Lodge, Root, McCumber and O'Gorman in their sending documents from Washington; and we acknowledge the kindness shown by the Department of State at Washington in furnishing documents and other essential information.
We have thought it to be of great value to print herein full excerpts from the speeches of Senators Root and O'Gorman in the late discussion in the Senate;
these make clear the questions at issue between the contending forces in Congress.
It is the hope that what is herein preserved and presented may be useful, not only for the present, but in coming years when similar problems may disturb and vex our country. If our statements appear in any way partisan, it is not from prejudice and impulse, but from the very logic and reason resulting from past events, and from right and justice emanating from all our compacts and the surrounding circumstances.
GEO. A. TALLEY.
SPAIN AND THE ISTHMUS.
The intrepid and inspired Columbus in 1492 sailed west from Palos on the uncharted and unknown sea hoping to reach China or some intervening land; he failed in reaching China, but discovered America. He landed on the island of Guanahani which he believed to be part of India, and later visited the adjacent West Indian Islands and finally settled on Hispaniola (Haiti). And on January 4, 1493, he set out on his return to Spain to report his discovery and to receive his country's plaudits.
In September, 1493, he again sailed to America with a number of ships and 1500 men and made other settlements among the various islands, and again returned to Spain (in 1496) taking 225 Spaniards, 30 natives and vast treasurers with him. There were the usual jealousies against the successful discoverer and great opposition was encountered in raising supplies for another expedition, which retarded him for a year.
In 1498 he made his third voyage to the new colony. The mistake he made was in taking with him many men charged with crime. These he found to be a trouble and a detriment. It was on this voyage that he discovered Trinidad and at last reached the shore of Continental America: the first mainland seen by Columbus was on the shore of Venezuela.
His enemies having carried their unjust calumnies to such an extent Ferdinand ordered Columbus placed
in irons and carried to Spain where he arrived late in the fall of 1500, but he was almost instantly given his liberty and rewarded with still greater honors and dignity. It is said that Columbus retained his fetters as long as he lived and ordered that they be placed with his body in his coffin.
Feeling that his great work was not yet accomplished he sailed on his fourth voyage in 1502. He arrived off St. Domingo but was refused the right to land. Later he sailed on to Darien and this was perhaps his first view of the historic isthmus separating the two great oceans. Columbus here failed to find the fabled "secret strait" which was supposed to furnish a passage to the Pacific and the way to China. Columbus never saw the Pacific, and in 1504 broken in health and spirit he returned to Spain to spend two years in sickness, suffering and despondency and finally to die at Valladolid, May 20, 1506. Like other great heroes he was to suffer the misfortune of having others reap the harvest where he had so courageously and successfully sown. Thus the cruelty of fate often decrees that men of heroic and immortal accomplishments must suffer martyrdom and death and be consigned to the tomb in order to gain their just rewards.
It is most fitting that in writing of one of the "wonders of the world" (yet without a number) we should pause to pay tribute to that intelligent and daring genius who first led the white man into the territory in which lies the great American isthmus; and whose name was properly given to the state and nation that until but recently included the famous Panama Canal zone. Although some believe that Rodrigo Bastidas touched the Panama coast before Columbus; yet this is in grave doubt; but it is recorded that in 1503 Columbus actually visited the famous Chagres river which has fur