Congressional Party in Convent Ruins, Old Panama, March, 1907


This photograph from the Frank and Frances Carpenter Collection at the Library of Congress depicts a scene from a visit to Panama by a delegation of the U.S. Congress in 1907. Frank G. Carpenter (1855–1924) was an American writer of books on travel and world geography, whose works helped to popularize cultural anthropology and geography in the United States in the early years of the 20th century. Consisting of photographs taken and gathered by Carpenter and his daughter Frances (1890–1972) to illustrate his writings, the collection includes an estimated 16,800 photographs and 7,000 glass and film negatives. As described by Ernest F. Acheson in the souvenir journal Trip of Congressional Party to Panama, “on March 6, 1907 a party composed of forty-five members of the U.S. House of Representatives sailed from New York on the Steamer Panama for Colon.” “Mr. Sereno E. Payne acted as president of the delegation and Mr. Charles F. Scott as secretary. Hon. Benjamin F. Harper, Auditor for the War Department, and his wife; Col. George W. Goethals and Maj. D.D. Gaillaid, two of the U.S. Engineers chosen by President Roosevelt as members of the re-organized Canal Commission, were passengers on the Panama and accompanied the party on its expedition to the Isthmus.”

Last updated: May 11, 2015