"Viscount Ferdinand de Lesseps"

Henry Mitchell
Publication details: 
Offprint) From the Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, vol.XXX1 (1896)
SKU: 325

American hydrographer and engineer (1830-1902). Wraps, detached and chipped, pp.370-385, contents good. Inscribed by the author to George Davidson (1825-1911) geodesist and geographer AND ANNOTATED extensively throughout by Davidson, marking passages with underlining, expressing doubts about accuracy with question marks and trenchant comment from "Rot" to short addition, to lengthy disquisition, and adding information from his own wide and detailed knowledge, both Davidson and Mitchell having an interest in the Panama Canal. Davidson's sharpest criticism comes with the discussion of the Panama Canal . He adds, for example, that "the RR system which made one strand connexion across the continent was not completed until 1869. It was the Civil War that drove our commerce from the ocean", and an additional factor of "rascality". He writes 9 lines (initialled "G.D.) challeging Mitchell's conclusion by saying his words about "insurmountable " are misleading, giving the estimate for the Suez Canal and the estimate in 1875 for an American reporducing the canal ($10,000,000 with $2m profit). In fact, he says, it cost 487,000,000 francs ($97m) "!!!".