United States Congressional Serial Set. Reports of Explorations and Surveys for the Location of a Ship Canal between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans through Nicaragua: 1872-'73


Reports of Explorations and Surveys for the Location of a Ship-canal Between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans Through Nicaragua: 1872-’73 is a volume containing two reports prepared by the United States Navy for the United States Senate concerning two expeditions to Nicaragua undertaken by the navy in March‒July 1872 and December 1872‒June 1873. The purpose of the expeditions was to locate and survey a route for an inter-oceanic canal through Nicaragua, using Lake Nicaragua as part of the waterway between the Atlantic and the Pacific. The first report was compiled by Commander Chester Hatfield, who took command of the expedition after Commander Alexander F. Crosman was drowned in an accident off Greytown (present-day San Juan del Norte), Nicaragua, on April 12. It contains Hatfield’s report on the death of Crosman and five seamen attached to the expedition (containing, among other information, the fact that only two of the five seamen could swim); Hatfield’s overview report of the expedition; and reports by the surveyors, civil engineers, and the geologist attached to the expedition. The second report was compiled by Commander Edward P. Lull, who took over command from Hatfield and completed the survey. It includes Lull’s overview report as well as separate reports by naval and civilian experts attached to the expedition on the geography, hydrography, geology, health and climactic conditions, and flora and fauna of the region surveyed. In the conclusion to his report, Commander Lull wrote: “An interoceanic ship-canal across the American isthmus, or through Central America, has been the subject of discussion for three hundred and seventy-five years, among statesmen, navigators, geographers, and merchants. Its desirability has been often proved by able pens. The enormous saving of distance, time, cost, and risk, which it would give the world, has been carefully tabulated. There seems to be nothing left to show, therefore, but its feasibility; this, I believe, the information herewith forwarded amply does.” The reports include tables and drawings, and there is a detailed set of maps at the end of the volume.

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Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.


Title in Original Language

Reports of explorations and Surveys for the Location of a Ship-canal between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans Through Nicaragua: 1872-1873

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Physical Description

143 pages : maps, illustrations ; 31 centimeters

Last updated: July 12, 2017