The New Student's Reference Work/Nicaragua Canal
Nicaragua Canal. The plan to cut a ship-canal through Central America by way of San Juan River and Lake Nicaragua was taken up in earnest in 1884 and a treaty made between the United States and Nicaragua. The Nicaragua Canal Company was formed and the canal was begun at Greytown in 1889. But, after expending $4,000,000, the company found the burden greater than they had anticipated, and sought an appropriation from Congress of $100,000,000, with provision for government supervision. Failing in this, the work ceased, and finally the concession from the government of Nicaragua lapsed. In 1897 the United States government took up the question of the construction of a canal, and a commission was appointed to survey and report the most practicable route and estimate the cost of construction. In 1899 a new commission was authorized to make further inquiry and report, considering both the Nicaragua and the Panama route. The Nicaragua route was recommended, and the cost of the canal was estimated at $118,000,000 to $135,000,000. In 1903, however, the Panama (q. v.) route was adopted, the United States purchasing the properties of the Panama Canal Company for $40,000,000.