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men-of-war were put on board the trains, the use of which was denied both to the Government and the Liberal forces.
On January 20, 1902, Captain Mead, of the U. S. S. Philadelphia, wrote to the Liberal general, Herrera, on board the Almirante Padilla, which was then entering the harbor of Panama, that no firing from his vessel must endanger in any way foreign shipping in the port, and that there must be no bombardment.
January 27, 1902, Captain Reisinger, of the U. S. S. Philadelphia, reported that the Government was then using the railroad freely and constantly for the transportation of troops and ammunition, and had adopted forcible measures for the purpose of preventing the Liberals from using it or from entering Colon and Panama, thus interrupting the transit and placing the passengers in danger. Against this action the consul-general of the United States at Panama protested. Captain Reisinger subsequently reported that, after February 4, the Government had sent a guard of about fifty men in a passenger coach next to the locomotive on each train leaving Colon or Panama, this coach being separated from the regular passenger coaches by baggage and express cars.
September 19, 1902, Commander McLean, of the U. S. S. Cincinnati, addressed an identical note to the commanders of the Government and revolutionary forces, in which he stated that the United States naval forces were guarding the railway trains and the line of transit across the Isthmus from sea to sea, and that no persons whatever would be allowed to obstruct, embarrass, or in any manner interfere with the trains or the transit route. He added that no armed men, except forces of the United States, would be allowed to come upon or use the line.
September 20,1902, the civil war still continuing, Mr. Moody, Secretary of the Navy, cabled to Commander McLean, of the U.S. S. Cincinnati, that the United States guaranteed the perfect neutrality of the Isthmus, and that free transit from sea to sea should not be interrupted or embarrassed; that Colombia guaranteed that the right of way or transit across the Isthmus should be open and free to the Government and citizens of the United States and their property; that any transportation of troops which might contravene these stipulations should not be sanctioned, nor should any use of the road be permitted "which might convert the line of transit" into a “theater of hostility;" that the transportation of Government troops in such a manner as not to endanger the transit or provoke hostilities might not be objectionable, but that the Department must rely on his judgment to decide such questions, as the conditions might change from day to day.
It appears that the immediate occasion of Commander McLean's placing American guards on board the railway trains was that, after
the surrender of Agua Dulce, the Colombian Government withdrew the guards which it had itself been maintaining, and established guards outside the cities of Colon and of Panama, who stopped the trains before entering those places for the purpose of arresting any members of the Liberal party who might be found on board. Besides, in order to insure the stopping of trains, obstructions were placed upon the tracks. Under these circumstances Commander McLean landed detachments and put guards on each train. He gave permission, however, for the transportation of a number of Government troops, unarmed, their arms being carried in a baggage car on another train; but he advised the authorities that this should not be taken as a precedent, and that each case would be decided on its merits when presented.
October 2,1902, Rear-Admiral Casey, who had arrived at Panama on the U. S. S. Wisconsin, observed, on a trip across the Isthmus, from ninety to a hundred Government soldiers, some of whom were ill, quartered in a car promiscuously with men, women, and children, so that the stench coming from the car was unbearable. For sanitary reasons, therefore, among others, he issued an order in which he stated that while the trains were running under the protection of the United States he must “decline the transportation of any combatant or any ammunition and arms over the road which might cause an interruption of traffic or convert the line of transit into a theater of hostility.” The governor of Panama protested against any restriction of the Government's use of the road as an invasion of its sovereign and treaty rights; on the other hand, the commander of the revolutionary forces protested against the transportation of any Government troops or munitions of war, and virtually threatened the interruption of the transit if such transportation should be allowed. Now and then, however, the transportation of particular military officers of the Government was permitted, as well as the occasional dispatch of arms and ammunition; and at the end of October, 1902, the Government was permitted to transport troops on special separate trains, not under American guard, at hours other than those of the regular trains. At this time Government reinforcements had arrived on the Isthmus, so that it seemed probable that the Government would be able to maintain its supremacy along the line of the road and insure an uninterrupted transit. About the middle of November, 1902, it appearing that the Colombian Government was then able to maintain free transit and fulfill its treaty obligations on the Isthmus, Admiral Casey issued orders for the withdrawal of all American guards from the railway trains. Peace between the Government and the revolutionary forces was concluded on the 21st of November in the cabin of the admiral's flagship. S. Dọc. 143, 58 Cong. 2 sess. 162, 164, 202, 203, 210,212-214, 229, 231 233; S. Dọc.
10, 58 Cong. special sess. 46, 49, 50, 52, 54-55, 70, 79.
Nov. 2, 1903, Mr. Darling, Acting Secretary of the Navy, refer
ring to an apprehended uprising on the Isthmus of Revolution at Panama, cabled to the commander of the U. S. S. Panama, 1903.
Nashville, at Colon, and of the Dixie, at Kingston, Jamaica, to “maintain free and uninterrupted transit," and, if interruption was threatened by an armed force, to occupy the line of the railroad and prevent the “landing of any armed force with hostile intent, either Government or insurgent, either at Colon, Porto Bello, or other point”; also, to prevent the landing of a Government force which was reported to be approaching the Isthmus in vessels, if in their judgment such landing would precipitate a conflict. Similar instructions were cabled to the commander of the Marblehead, at Acapulco, and of the Boston, at San Juan del Sur, which were to proceed immediately to Panama, and prevent the “landing of any armed force, either Government or insurgent, with hostile intent at any point within 50 miles of Panama.' Nov. 3 Mr. Darling telegraphed to the commander of the Nashville: “In the interest of peace make every effort to prevent Government troops at Colon from proceeding to Panama. The transit of the Isthmus must be kept open and order maintained.” On Nov. 5 Mr. Moody, Secretary of the Navy, cabled to the Boston to prevent the recurrence of a reported bombardment of Panama by a Colombian gunboat, and to "prevent any armed force of either side from landing at Colon, Porto Bello, or vicinity.”
For. Rel. 1903, 247, 248.
“By the act of June 28, 1902, the Congress authorized the Presi
dent to enter into treaty with Colombia for the buildThe Republic of ing of the canal across the Isthmus of Panama; it ident Roose- being provided that in the event of failure to secure velt's Annual such treaty after the lapse of a reasonable time, Message, Dec. 7,
recourse should be had to building a canal through
Nicaragua. It has not been necessary to consider this alternative, as I am enabled to lay before the Senate a treaty providing for the building of the canal across the Isthmus of Panama. This was the route which commended itself to the deliberate judgment of the Congress, and we can now acquire by treaty the right to construct the canal over this route. The question now, therefore, is not by which route the isthmian canal shall be built, for that question has been definitely and irrevocably decided. The question is simply whether or not we shall have an isthmian canal.
“When the Congress directed that we should take the Panama route under treaty with ('olombia, the essence of the condition, of course, referred not to the Government which controlled that route, but to the route itself; to the territory across which the route lay, not to the name which for the moment the territory bore on the map. The purpose of the law was to authorize the President to make a treaty with the power in actual control of the Isthmus of Panama. This purpose has been fulfilled.
“In the year 1846 this Government entered into a treaty with New Granada, the predecessor upon the Isthmus of the Republic of Colombia and of the present Republic of Panama, by which treaty it was provided that the Government and citizens of the United States should always have free and open right of way or transit across the Isthmus of Panama by any modes of communication that might be constructed, while in return our Government guaranteed the perfect neutrality of the above-mentioned Isthmus with the view that the free transit from the one to the other sea might not be interrupted or embarrassed. The treaty vested in the United States a substantial property right carved out of the rights of sovereignty and property which New Granada then had and possessed over the said territory. The name of New Granada has passed away and its territory has been divided. Its successor, the Government of Colombia, has ceased to own any property in the Isthmus. A new Republic, that of Panama, which was at one time a sovereign state, and at another time a mere department of the successive confederations known as New Granada and Colombia, has now succeeded to the rights which first one and then the other formerly exercised over the Isthmus. But as long as the Isthmus endures, the mere geographical fact of its existence, and the peculiar interest therein which is required by our position, perpetuate the solemn contract which binds the holders of the territory to respect our right to freedom of transit across it, and binds us in return to safeguard for the Isthmus and the world the exercise of that inestimable privilege. The true interpretation of the obligations upon which the United States entered in this treaty of 1846 has been given repeatedly in the utterances of Presidents and Secretaries of State. Secretary Cass in 1858 officially stated the position of this Government as follows:
““The progress of events has rendered the interoceanic route across the narrow portion of Central America vastly important to the commercial world, and especially to the United States, whose possessions extend along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, and demand the speediest and easiest modes of communication. While the rights of sovereignty of the states occupying this region should always be respected, we shall expect that these rights be exercised in a spirit befitting the occasion and the wants and circumstances that have arisen. Sovereignty has its duties as well as its rights, and none of these local governments, even if administered with more regard to the just demands of other nations than they have been, would be permitted, in a spirit of Eastern isolation, to close the gates of intercourse on the great highways of the world, and justify the act by the pretension that these avenues of trade and travel belong to them and that they choose to shut them, or, what is almost equivalent, to encumber them with such unjust regulations as would prevent their general use.'
"Seven years later, in 1865, Mr. Seward in different communications took the following position:
“ "The United States have taken and will take no interest in any question of internal revolution in the State of Panama, or any State of the United States of Colombia, but will maintain a perfect neutrality in connection with such domestic altercations. The United States will, nevertheless, hold themselves ready to protect the transit trade across the Isthmus against invasion of either domestic or foreign disturbers of the peace of the State of Panama. . . Neither the text nor the spirit of the stipulation in that article by which the United States engages to preserve the neutrality of the Isthmus of Panama, imposes an obligation on this Government to comply with the requisition [of the President of the United States of Colombia for a force to protect the Isthmus of Panama from a body of insurgents of that country). The purpose of the stipulation was to guarantee the Isthmus against seizure or invasion by a foreign power only.'
"Attorney-General Speed, under date of November 7, 1865, advised Secretary Seward as follows:
“From this treaty it can not be supposed that New Granada invited the United States to become a party to the intestine troubles of that Government, nor did the United States become bound to take sides in the domestic broils of New Granada. The United States did guarantee New Granada in the sovereignty and property over the territory. This was as against other and foreign governments.'
“For four hundred years, ever since shortly after the discovery of this hemisphere, the canal across the Isthmus has been planned. For two score years it has been worked at. When made it is to last
It is to alter the geography of a continent and the trade routes of the world. We have shown by every treaty we have negotiated or attempted to negotiate with the peoples in control of the Isthmus and with foreign nations in reference thereto our consistent good faith in observing our obligations; on the one hand to the peoples of the Isthmus, and on the other hand to the civilized world whose commercial rights we are safeguarding and guaranteeing by our action. We have done our duty to others in letter and in spirit, and we have shown the utmost forbearance in exacting our own rights.
"Last spring, under the act above referred to, a treaty concluded between the representatives of the Republic of Colombia and of our
for the ages.