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Table showing the Trade of England that would pass through the Darien Canal

if now finished, taken from the Official Returns for the year 1867.



Countries Traded with.

Exports and Imports. Tonnage. Half of Mexico....

$ 3,014,00.5

2,401 Half of Central America


7,652 Half of New Granada................................................................ 8,613,995

11,019 Chili

35,004,090 220,771 Peru

25,9926,110 209,401 Ecuador


2,725 China....

85,975,900 197,288 Jawa.......


30,703 Singpore.

17,813,505 123.43ů Australia and New Zealand......

67,475,780 264,815 Islands of the Pacific.........


2,762 California.......

14,239,970 127,086





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Table showing the Trade of France that would pass through the Darien Canal

if now finished, taken from the Official Returns for the year 1865.

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TABLE showing the Trade of the United States that would pass through the The foregoing tables show what would probably be the amount and direction of the commerce passing through the Darien Canal when first completed, but in tbis there would be an immediate and rapidly increasing cbango inuring to the benefit of the United States. At present the balance of trade is so decidedly against Europe and America, and in favor of the East Indies and China, that vessels sailing from the ports of the former are never half laden, but bring full cargoes on their return passages of the products of the East. This condition of the trade is not owing to a want of market in Eastern and Southern Asia for the products of the United States, but to the present great cost of getting those products to that market, and the nearer but greatly less demand we find for them in Europe. A canal through the Isthmus of Darien or Tehuantepec would so materially shorten the distance and lessen the expense of the transit to Asia and Australia that, in less than three years, the breadstuffs and other products sent from our ports to these countries would not only change the balance of trade in our favor, but would also rebuild the commercial marine which the late war so completely destroyed; and the magnificent barbors of the West India islands and our Gulf coast, of which Tampa Bay, Appalachicola, Pensacola, Mobile, New Orleans and Galveston are the principal belonging to us, would, as the receptacles for shipment of the vast products of the Southern States and the Valley of the Mississippi, soon make the Gulf of Mexico the grandest conter of commercial activity that the world has ever witnessed.

Darien Canal.

Countries Toaded with.


Imports and Exports. Tonnage. 1869.

18CS. $ 2,080,031

13,283 809,037

41,624 9,432,214 107,977 5,999,967

72.930 2,109,778

41.520 3,272,467

49,078 3,059,75.)

78.429 2.083,484

55,603 25,581,853 107,884 5,186,025 30%,220

Dutch East Indies.........
British Australia and New Zealand
British East Indies
Half of Mexico.......
Half of Central America...
Sandwich Islands
Half of New Granada....







Value of cargoes..
Value of ships, at $50 per ton.........

Total value of ships and cargoes

41,027, 100


This brief comparison of the isthmusos will at present suffice. The tables have been brought side by side, with the design of enlisting deeper interest in the proposed survey for our own Darien Canal. Its importance can scarcely be over-estimated; and the interest in it, and effort to be enlisted for its construction, may be quickened by such comparisons as we are now making.

For it is to be kept steadily before the eye, that the termini of the two great transit routes, in the two hemispheres, are the radiant points for the great trunk lines of the world's commerce, viz: (1) From the Persian Gulf, or Suez, east to Bombay, Calcutta and Australia, and from Port Said west to all parts of Europe, North and South America; and (2) from Darien east to Europe, and west to Asia, South American west coast, and Australia.

We now turn from these comparisons of the American route, as yet unsurveyed, but challenging the genius of exploration and of engineering, to the record of the present finished route in the East; again saying, May the Suez Canal secure our own.

That the English are beginning to comprehend the state of the case, may be inferred from an article on the Suez Canal in a recent number of Once a Week, from which we extract the following passages :

“ That the Suez Canal will bring about a revolution in the commercial world is certain; the extent of the revolution must be left to future times to decide.

“ With the new direct passage to the East, is there not every probability of the ports of North Africa and of South Europe becoming the great commercial emporiums of the future? The way is now clear from North America to Hindostan and with the exception of the detour made by the Red Sea, the course

is a direct one. The Mediterranean lies in tho line between East and West, and may be said to connect both. What an enviable position ! On the one hand America, flourishing, young, and active; on the other India, surpassingly wealthy, and itself the connecting link whose shores, abounding with good ports, are almost everywhere the fringes of good and largely-yielding soil. Now is the time for Trieste and Marseilles to bestir themselves. Tho golden opportunity is offered, and the earliest bidder will obtain the greatest bargains. Who knows where will be the London, the pre-eminent commercial city of future times? It would be odd, indeed, if, contrary to all modern anticipations, it should not be in North America, but in one of the oldest districts of the Old World. The Old World is very much larger than the New, is as rich, or richer, in minerals, and contains a greater proportion of richly-productive soil. After consideration, then, it would not be surprising if the commercial supremacy which successively left Tyre, Rome, and Vonice, should desert London — not for New York, but for some place on the ancient coast of the Mediterranean. Should this really happen (of course, it is at present a mere speculation, and a few years will decide the probability or improbability of its ultimato occurrence), there can be no doubt that the Suez Canal will have been the great, if not the sole, cause of the regeneration of the world of the ancients.

Let England not be blind to the probable influences of the Suez Canal. It behooves her particularly, of all the nations of the world, to be on the alert, evon for events which it may take centuries to culminato, for she has the greatest interests at stake. She is now on the top of the pinnacle of glory, supported by tho richest possessions, the most flourishing colonies, and tho greatest commerce of the world.

“ The greatness of England may be said to have had its foundation in the discovery of the Cape route to India. This event developed the energies of the nations of Western Europe, and its effects were almost immediately felt in the rapid rise of Spain, then of Portugal, next of IIolland, and lastly of England. They are all nations possessing extensive coasts open to the Atlantic, and therefore received the benefits of the newly-found way to the large world. The discovery converted the Mediterranean into a comparatively small expanse of water, shut out of the wider world; and, ever since, the countries on its shores have gradually lessened in importance; England has bocome rich, while Eastern Spain, and Italy, and Greece have become poor-because, by the Cape routo, she is nearer to China and the East Indies. The fact stands on adamant. The inferonco is as true. The Cape routo is, or will be in a few years, worthless for communication with the East, the way by Suez being the nearer and the safer. Our Eastern commerce must decline, as assuredly as that of South Europe will increase. Such must be tho case, even should we continue our hold on India, and we cannot hope to preserve an ascendency over three hundred millions of foreigners if we begin to lose prestige in the world.

“Regarding Eastern commerce, a vigorous activity on the part of the Mediterranean States will be accompanied by a comparative decline on that of England; in other words the salvation of the Mediterranean will be the ruin

of England. But, some people will very naturally remark, we shall still bare the American commerce in our hands, and the resources and wealth of America are worthy of comparison with those of the East. Granted; but the retention of half a possession is no recompense for the loss of the other half. Wo may, however, cull some consolation from the philosophic refiection that half a good thing is better than none at all; and in that light we should be thankful for our own fortune. America is noù our last resource, and will be the friend to save us from utter bankruptcy and ruin.

“ If the Suez Canal had been completed a century or more ago, before the resources of the New World had been known and appreciated, there is much ground of probability in the supposition that our country would have sunk into respectable insignificance, and that the progress of America in civilization and prosperity would have been far less rapid than it has been under existing circumstances. So widely different must have been the course of events, and so gigantic are the interests concerned, that the subject fills the mind with amazement. Whole countries, nay, continents, would have been materially affocted, and not merely a British colony at the Cape of Good Hope, as many persons erroneously suppose. We have, indeed, as Englishmen, much cause for congratulation upon the long delay in removing the barrier between European and Asiatic seas, until the present hour, when the productions of America have been so generally and so abundantly developed. We cling to America as to the last hope of a sinking man.

“ These aro gloomy forebodings for the future of our country. They will undoubtedly prove truc in the end, unless England shakes off the foolish apathy with regard to foreign affairs which seems to have taken possession of her during these last three or four years. She must not be content to confine ber whole attention to her own island home. if she has the ambition still to be a power in the world. She must not selfishly withdraw her support from her young colonies, who need her assistanco now, but who will be her strong defenders or aiders in the future. She must not allow France or any other power again to undertake the grandest enterprise of the day. On the contrary, she must be ever bold and fearless-active and energetic in every quarter of the globo—resentful of every injury, and foremost in overy great work. She has been overrcacbed by the latest French movement. Let her apply a lesson from it, and avert the dangers now threatening her, by excavating a channel across the Isthmus of Panama. Let her begin this great work immediately-not a moment should be lost—and the rich Eastern and Southeastern lands of Asia will be within easy distance of her by a new route in a direct line across the united Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

“ By this means only is the speedy destruction of our commercial interests and of our existence as a great independent nation to be prevented. The Panama Canal is the natural sequence of the successful piercing of the Isthmus of Suez. Nay, more - it is absolutely necessary for the safety of England. Apart from its necessity to this country particularly, it wil be extremely beneficial to the whole world in general, by reason of its inspiring a fresh enterprising spirit of energy in men, and engendering omulations and instincts of progressive activity in nations. There is every reason, every necessity in the world, for the work to be commenced, and that quickly. The present is the golden opportunity-procrastination may snatch it away.”

Then is it not manifest from this general consideration of the subject that we, too, of the New World have a Mediterranean Sea in our Gulf of Mexico and Carribean Sea ? And in the future growth and organization of the world's commerce, can we not reasonably expect that thousands of ships from the Atlantic and Pacific-from the combined fleets of the nations of the earth will associate in rendezvous in that world's commercial place which those two waters are destined to afford ? Every consideration in our geography and resources, as well as the rapid tendency to a complete organization of the world's commerce, point to this one great fact. The Mediterranean of the Now World is just as surely to suporsede, in commercial importance, the Mediterranean of tho Old World, as does the civilization of the New World supersede the civilization of the Old. Our Mediterranean will yet have its Suez Canal. It has its new Rome, its Constantinople, its Genoa and its Venice, its Smyrna and Palermo. In short, to the Mediterranean of the Old World belongs scarcely anything of nature or civilization that does not belong to the Mediterranoan of the New World. iVhether in oceans East and West, or whether in continents North and South; or whether in islands and cities, in climates and peoples, we may turn to tho long line of historic scenes which have been enacted upon the shores of the Mediterranean of the Old World through thousands of years of man's history, growth, and tho rise and fall of nations, the commercial greatness, and the diffusion of the arts and sciences—and there seems to be reserved in the future, and to be enacted upon the shores of the Mediterranean of the New World, still mightier deeds in commerce, in art, in Peace! Why may we not anticipate a snperior and more advanced rehearsal of history? Even now it is being enacted, and must go on.

Having pointed out the routes over which the controlling commerce of the world has passed for nearly three thousand years, and considered tho probable influence which the use of the Suez and Darien canals will exert in the control and direction of the future commerce of the distant nations and peoples of the earth, and considered our advantage upon the ocean, and the certainty of the world's commerce seeking our markets through the Gulf of Mexico, and from thence to the great cities in the central plain, where it will be exchanged, distributed, and consumed, we return to the railway system, and consider the special industrial mission of our people. We have already said that the railway systems, in their more mature development, will be dominant over the water systems in affording commercial facilities, and will, in the future, control the industry of the world, and therefore the industrial mission of all considerable peoples who build for themselves these most useful agencies that the arts have produced.

America is destined to be the great railway continent of the world and the essential industrial mission of the American people will conform to their great railway system. Hence their mission must be essentially continental; and now that the continent, froin East to West, has been spanned

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