MAP AND PROFILE OF THE ROUTE FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF A SHIP CANAL FROM THE ATLANTIC TO THE PACIFIC OCEANS, ACROSS THE ISTHMUS IN THE STATE OF NICARAGUA, CENTRAL AMERICA, SURVEYED FOR THE AMERICAN ATLANTIC AND PACIFIC SHIP CANAL COMPANY. BY. O.W. CHILDS. 1850-51.
New York: Wm. C. Bryant & Co., Printers, 1852. Cover title. Large folding map, approx. 36" x 107", folded to 6" x 8.5". Bound in printed green paper-covered boards with black cloth spine [boards lightly rubbed and spotted], accession label on spine. The map has hand-colored routes and locations. Map sections have been expertly joined with archival tape applied to blank verso, apparently as issued. Tanning along some folds and edges, light spotting, several expertly mended short closed tears and fold splits [no text loss]. Manuscript ownership signature of W.H. Talcott at head of front board. The map has a blind embossed stamp in a blank margin: "American Society of Civil Engineers, Founded in New York in A.D. 1852." Very Good.
The 1840s witnessed a clamour for a ship canal through Nicaragua and across the Isthmus of Panama, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The United States and England clashed over its control. The Clayton-Bulwer Treaty resulted in an agreement for joint support and control. The treaty was signed and ratified in 1850. Ephraim G. Squier, U.S. Charge' d' Affaires, had negotiated with the American, Atlantic & Pacific Ship Canal Company to do the work. Col. O.W. Childs of Philadelphia was appointed Chief Engineer, and assigned the task of surveying and determining a line of location.
W[illiam] H. Talcott [1809-1868], this map's previous owner, was a Connecticut native who moved to Albany to study engineering under John B. Jervis. During his early career, he surveyed the Hudson River and the Albany and West Stockbridge Railroad, and was Superintendent and Engineer of the Mohawk and Hudson Railroad. He was appointed Constructing Engineer of the Genesee Valley Canal in 1837, resident engineer upon the Erie Canal Enlargement project in 1841, Resident Engineer and Superintendent of the Western Division of the Morris Canal in New Jersey in 1845 and its Chief Engineer and Superintendent in 1846, and finally, as the President of the Canal Company in 1864. He was one of the twelve founding members of the American Society of Civil Engineers, formed in 1852.
Phillips, Maps of America 551. Item #30646