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Alexander von Humboldt: „The Isthmus of Darien Ship Canal“, in: ders., Sämtliche Schriften digital, herausgegeben von Oliver Lubrich und Thomas Nehrlich, Universität Bern 2021. URL: <https://humboldt.unibe.ch/text/1853-The_Isthmus_of-22-neu> [abgerufen am 16.06.2024].

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Titel The Isthmus of Darien Ship Canal
Jahr 1853
Ort Boston, Massachusetts
Nachweis
in: American Railway Times 5:28 (14. Juli 1853), [o. S.].
Sprache Englisch
Typografischer Befund Antiqua; Spaltensatz; Auszeichnung: Kapitälchen.
Identifikation
Textnummer Druckausgabe: VII.55
Dateiname: 1853-The_Isthmus_of-22-neu
Statistiken
Seitenanzahl: 1
Zeichenanzahl: 2854

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|Seitenumbruch|

letter from alexander von humboldt. The London News of the 18th inst. publishes the followingunder its money article head:

Subjoined is a translation of a letter recently addressed bythe venerable Baron Humboldt to Dr Cullen, relative to theprojected Darien ship canal. It will be seen that the Baronespecially urges the necessity of constructing a canal withoutlocks, as, as the only medium of communication suitable forthe accommodation of the world. It was to the absence of thisimportant feature in the Nicaragua ship canal scheme that thefailure of that project was mainly owing, as capitalists werenaturally averse to commit themselves to an undertaking whichwhilst involving a immense and unascertained expenditure,would, when completed, it was more than feared, prove per-fectly inadequate to its object:

the isthmus of darien ship canal.

Sir

—I am very much to blame for having so long delayedan answer to the agreeable and interesting despatch that youhave been kind enough to forward me, by the hands of Mr. Au-gustus Peterman, so estimable by his character, as well as bythe solidity of his geographieal labors. Dr. Cullen cannot doubtthe high importance that I would attach to the merit of hiscourageous and useful investigations in the eastern part of theIsthmus of Panama; knowing my position and my antediluvianage, he will receive with indulgence, even so late, the expres-sion of my lively gratitude. After having labored in vain, dur-ing half a century, to prove the possibility of an oceanic canal,and to point out the Gulf of San Miguel and Cupica as thepoints worthy of attention: alter having regretted, almost withbitterness, in the last edition of my “Aspects of Nature,” thatthe emyloyment of the means, which the present state of ourknowledge affords for obtaining precise measurements has beenso long delayed; I ought, more than any one else to be satis-fied to see at last my hopes for so noble an enterprise revivedBy your publications, sir, and by that of Mr. Gisborne, will beoriginated the great work of changing an important part of thecommerce of nations, and of rendering more accessible the richcountries of Eastern Asia and the Indian Archipelago. Theundertaking is by no means above the intellectual and materialpower which civilized nations have attained to. The workshould be one to last forever; it should not commence with acanal with locks, like the magnificent Caledonian canal; it mustbe a really oceanic canal, without locks; a free passage fromsea to sea, across which the speed of the navigation will hemodified, but not interrupted, by the difference in height andnon coincidence of the tides. Receive, I pray you, sir, the ex-pression of my highest consideration. Yours, &c. &c.

Alexander Von Humboldt.

Dr. Edward Cullen, Strand, London.