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Title: Joseph Pennell's pictures of the Panama Canal - Reproductions of a series of lithographs made by him on - the Isthmus of Panama, January—March 1912, together with - impressions and notes by the artist
Author: Pennell, Joseph
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Joseph Pennell's pictures of the Panama Canal - Reproductions of a series of lithographs made by him on - the Isthmus of Panama, January—March 1912, together with - impressions and notes by the artist" ***

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produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive)



  JOSEPH PENNELL'S PICTURES
  OF THE PANAMA CANAL

  FOURTH EDITION



  JOSEPH PENNELL'S PICTURES
  OF THE PANAMA CANAL

  REPRODUCTIONS OF A SERIES OF
  LITHOGRAPHS MADE BY HIM ON THE
  ISTHMUS OF PANAMA, JANUARY--MARCH,
  1912, TOGETHER WITH IMPRESSIONS
  AND NOTES BY THE ARTIST

  [Illustration: ++ Decorative image.]

  PHILADELPHIA AND LONDON
  J. B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY
  1913



  COPYRIGHT, 1912, BY JOSEPH PENNELL

  PUBLISHED, SEPTEMBER, 1912


  PRINTED BY J. B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY
  AT THE WASHINGTON SQUARE PRESS
  PHILADELPHIA, U.S.A.



  TO
  J. B. BISHOP

  SECRETARY OF THE ISTHMIAN
  CANAL COMMISSION

  WHO

  MADE IT POSSIBLE
  FOR ME TO DRAW
  THESE LITHOGRAPHS

  AND

  WHO WAS ALSO GOOD
  ENOUGH TO ACCEDE
  TO MY REQUEST AND
  READ AND CORRECT
  THE PROOFS FOR ME



INTRODUCTION--MY LITHOGRAPHS OF THE PANAMA CANAL


The idea of going to Panama to make lithographs of the Canal was mine.
I suggested it, and the _Century Magazine_ and _Illustrated London
News_ offered to print some of the drawings I might make.

Though I suggested the scheme a couple of years ago, it was not until
January, 1912, that I was able to go--and then I was afraid it was too
late--afraid the work was finished and that there would be nothing to
see, for photographs taken a year or eighteen months before, showed
some of the locks built and their gates partly in place.

Still I started, and after nearly three weeks of voyaging found,
one January morning, the Isthmus of Panama ahead of the steamer, a
mountainous country, showing deep valleys filled with mist, like snow
fields, as I have often seen them from Montepulciano looking over Lake
Thrasymene, in Italy. Beyond were higher peaks, strange yet familiar,
Japanese prints, and as we came into the harbor the near hills and
distant mountains were silhouetted with Japanese trees and even the
houses were Japanese, and when we at length landed, the town was full
of character reminiscent of Spain, yet the local character came out
in the Cathedral, the tower of which--a pyramid--was covered with a
shimmering, glittering mosaic of pearl oyster shells. The people, not
Americans, were primitive, and the children, mostly as in Spain, were
not bothered with clothes.

I followed my instinct, which took me at once to the great swamp near
the town of Mount Hope, where so many of De Lesseps' plans lie buried.
Here are locomotives, dredges, lock-gates, huge bulks of iron, great
wheels, nameless, shapeless masses--half under water, half covered with
vines--the end of a great work. I came back to Colon by the side of
the French Canal, completed and working up to, I believe, Gatun Lock
and Dam, and spent the afternoon in the American town, every house
Japanese in feeling, French or American in construction, screened with
black wire gauze, divided by white wood lines--most decorative--and all
shaded by a forest of palms. Through these wandered well-made roads,
and on them were walking and driving well-made Americans. There were
no mosquitoes, no flies, no smells, none of the usual adjuncts of a
tropical town.

At the end of the town was a monument, a nondescript Columbus, facing
nowhere, at his feet an Indian; but it seemed to me, if any monument
was wanted at Colon, it should be a great light-house or a great statue
towering aloft in the harbor, a memorial to the men who, French and
American, have made the Canal.

Next day I started across the Continent to Panama, for I learned
the Government headquarters were there, and, until I had seen the
officials, I did not know if I should be allowed to work or even stay
on the Isthmus. But at Gatun I got off the train, determining to do
all I could before I was stopped--as I was quite sure I should be. I
saw the tops of the locks only a few hundred yards away, and, turning
my back on the stunning town piled up on the hillside, walked over to
them; from a bridge bearing a sign that all who used it did so at their
own risk I looked down into a yawning gulf stretching to right and
left, the bottom filled with crowds of tiny men and tiny trains--all in
a maze of work; to the right the gulf reached to a lake, to the left
to mighty gates which mounted from the bottom to my feet. Overhead,
huge iron buckets flew to and fro, great cranes raised or lowered huge
masses of material. As I looked, a bell rang, the men dropped their
tools, and lines of little figures marched away, or climbed wooden
stairs and iron ladders to the surface. The engines whistled, the
buckets paused, everything stopped instantly, save that from the depths
a long chain came quickly up, and clinging to the end of it, as Cellini
would have grouped them, were a dozen men--a living design--the most
decorative motive I have ever seen in the Wonder of Work. I could not
have imagined it, and in all the time I was on the Isthmus I never saw
it but once again. For a second only they were posed, and then the huge
crane swung the group to ground and the design fell to pieces as they
dropped off.

Across the bridge was a telephone station and beyond and below it the
great approaches to the locks along which electric locomotives will
draw the ships that pass through. There was a subject, and I tackled it
at once. In the distance the already filling lake--among islands, but
the highland still above the water, dotting it, crowned with palms and
strange trees; dredgers slowly moved, native canoes paddled rapidly,
over all hovered great birds. To the right was the long line of the
French Canal, almost submerged, stretching to the distance, against
which, blue and misty and flat, were strange-shaped mountains, outlined
with strange-shaped trees. Bridges like those of Hiroshigi connected
island with island or with the mainland. It was perfect, the apotheosis
of the Wonder of Work, and as I looked the whole rocked as with an
earthquake--and then another. I was dragged into the hut as showers of
stones rattled on the roof as blast after blast went off near by. Soon
people in authority came up--I supposed to stop me; instead it was only
to show pleasure that I found their work worth drawing. These men were
all Americans, all so proud of their part in the Canal, and so strong
and healthy--most of them trained and educated, I knew as soon as they
opened their mouths--the greatest contrast to the crowd on the steamer,
who now were all tamely following a guide and listening to what they
could neither understand nor see during their only day ashore. These
engineers and workmen are the sort of Americans worth knowing, and
yet I did not see any golf links at Gatun. The day was spent in that
telephone box and on the Spillway of the Dam--a semicircle of cyclopean
concrete, backed by a bridge finer than Hokusai ever imagined, yet
built to carry the huge engines that drag the long trains of dirt and
rock across it, to make the dam. The dam, to me, was too big and too
vague to draw. And all this is the work of my countrymen, and they are
so proud of their work. Yet the men who have done this great work will
tell you that we owe much to the French, and that if the engineers and
the Commission at Panama had not the Government, with unlimited men
and money, behind them, and the discoveries in sanitary science of
which the French were ignorant, we, too, would have failed. They tell
you, and show you how, the French worked on the Canal right across the
Isthmus, and we are carrying out the great project they were unable to
complete. And we have won the admiration of the world.

The sanitary problem is solved, but they tell you under the French,
fever carried off a man for every tie that was laid on the Panama
Railroad. This is a legend, but a true story is, that the French cared
so little for their lives that with every shipload of machinery came
boxes of champagne, and those who received them asked their friends
to dinner--finished the bottles--and were buried in the empty box in
the morning. Now there is no fever in the Canal Zone, but there is
plenty of drink in and outside of it, but, I am told, "indulged in with
wonderful moderation." I certainly never saw an American under the
influence of it.

In the evening a ride of two hours took me over the thirty miles to
Panama--one of the last passengers over the old line of the Panama
Railway, now buried under the waters of the growing lake. From the
railroad I saw for the first time the primeval forest, the tropical
jungle, which I had never believed in, never believed that it could
not be penetrated save with an axe or a machete; but it is so, and the
richness of it, the riot of it, the variety of it, is incredible and
endless. The train puffed along, in that time-taking fashion of the
tropics I should soon be familiar with, passing points of view I made
notes of, for first impressions are for me always the best, and one
trip like this gives me more ideas than days of personal pointing out.
Finally Panama was reached in the dark; all I saw was a great hill lit
up with rows of lights, one above the other, in the night.

The day had not been hot, the sky was not blue or black--it was white,
and filled with white clouds, though they were dark against it. There
was no glare--and I had forgotten my sketching umbrella; but I never
needed it. So far as I know, there is always a breeze--it is never
really hot in the day--and as soon as the sun sets the trade wind
rises--if it has not been blowing all day--and I could always sleep
at night. It is all so unlike other hot countries--but, then, Panama
is unlike other places: the sun rises and sets in the Pacific, and
the city of Panama, though on the Pacific, is east of Colon, on the
Atlantic.

There was not a smell, or a mosquito, or a fly on Ancon Hill, but over
it all was the odor of petroleum, with which the streams and marshes of
the whole zone are sprayed almost daily; and this has made the Canal
and saved the workers.

Next morning I went to the Administration Building and presented my
letters, though I did not know if I should be allowed to draw. But it
seemed that everything had been arranged for me by the Commission, who,
it also seemed, had been doing nothing for weeks but waiting my coming.
I was clothed, fed, taken about in motor cars and steam launches, given
passes on the railroad, and finally turned loose to go where I wanted
and draw what I liked--and if anything happened or did not happen I was
just to telephone to headquarters.

The following day, donning my khaki, which I wore only once, and
pocketing my pass and some oranges, I started for the locks at Pedro
Miguel--pronounced, in American, Peter Megil, just as Miraflores is
called Millflowers. We were all down, had breakfast, and off in the
train--a jim-crow one--before the sun was up, and at Pedro Miguel
station I found myself one of a horde of niggers, Greeks, Hindoos,
Slovaks, Spaniards, Americans and engineers, bound for the lock, half a
mile away. Here I went down to the bottom to get a drawing of the great
walls that lead up to the great gates, now nearly finished. I had come
at exactly the right time. These walls are surmounted with great arches
and buttresses--the most decorative subject, the most stupendous motive
I have ever seen--almost too great to draw. Unlike my experiences of a
lifetime at other Government works, I was asked for no permit. I was
allowed to go where I wanted, draw what I liked; when any attention was
paid to me, it was to ask what I was working for--give me a glass of
ice water--precious, out of the breeze at the bottom of a lock--offer
to get me a photograph or make one, to suggest points of view, or tell
me to clear out when a blast was to be fired. And the interest of these
Americans in my work and in their work was something I had never seen
before. A man in huge boots, overalls and ragged shirt, an apology for
a hat, his sleeves up to his shoulders, proved himself in a minute
a graduate of a great school of engineering, and proved as well his
understanding of the importance of the work I was trying to do, and his
regret that most painters could not see the splendid motives all about;
and the greatest compliment I ever received came from one of these men,
who told me my drawings "would work."

Day after day it was the same--everything, including government hotels
and labor trains, open to me. The only things to look out for were the
blasts, the slips of dirt in the cut, and the trains, which rushed and
switched about without any reference to those who might get in front
of them. If one got run over, as was not usual; or blown up, which
was unusual; or malaria, which few escaped among the workmen, there
were plenty of hospitals, lots of nurses and sufficient doctors. Each
railroad switch was attended by a little darkey with a big flag; of
one of whom it was said he was seen to be asleep, with his head on
the rails one day. The engineer of an approaching dirt train actually
pulled up, and he was kicked awake and asked why he was taking a nap
there. The boy replied he was "'termined no train go by, boss, widout
me knowin' it"; and of another who, awaking suddenly and seeing half
a train past his switch, pulled it open and wrecked all the trains,
tracks and switches within a quarter of a mile; or the third, a
Jamaican, a new hand, who, being told he was not to let a train go by,
promptly signalled a locomotive to come on, and when he was hauled up,
smilingly said: "Dat wan't no train wat yer tole me to stop; dat's a
enjine."

Drawing had other interesting episodes connected with it, as when
I sat at work in Culebra Cut the leading man of a file of niggers,
carrying on his head a wooden box, would approach, stop beside me and
look at the drawing. As I happened to look up I would notice the box
was labelled, _Explosives, Highly dangerous_. Then, with his hands in
his pockets, he and the rest of the gang would stumble along over the
half-laid ties, slippery boulders and through the mud, trying to avoid
the endless trains and balance the boxes on their heads at the same
time. I must say, when I read the legend on the box the sensation was
peculiar. They tell you, too, that when President Taft came down to the
Cut all dynamiting gangs were ordered out; but one gang of blacks was
forgotten, and as the train with the President and Colonel Goethals in
it passed, the leader cheered so hard that he dropped his box, which
somehow didn't go off. It was interesting, too, when one had been
working steadily for some time, to find oneself surrounded, on getting
up, by little flags, to announce that the whole place had been mined
and should not be approached; or to find oneself entangled in a network
of live wires ready to touch off the blasts from hundreds of yards
away, and to remember that I was behind a boulder about to be blown to
pieces, and might be overlooked; or to be told I had better get out, as
they were ready to blast, after a white man had got done chucking from
one rock, to a black man on another, sticks of melanite, as the easiest
way of getting them to him; or ramming in, with long poles, charges so
big that trains, steam shovels and tracks had to be moved to keep them
from being "shot up." I always kept out of the way as far as possible
after the day at Bas Obispo when, standing some hundreds of yards from
a blast watching the effect of showers of rocks falling like shells in
the river, I heard wild yells, and, looking up, saw a rock as big as a
foot-ball sailing toward me. I have heard one can see shells coming and
dodge them. I know now that this is so, though I had to drop everything
and roll to do it. But I don't like it; and accidents do happen, and
there are hospitals all across the Isthmus with men, to whom accidents
have happened, in them. But nothing happened to me. I did not get
malaria or fever, or bitten or run over. I was very well all the
time--and I walked in the sun and worked in the sun, and sat in the
swamps and the bottoms of locks and at the edge of the dam, and nothing
but drawings happened; but I should not advise others to try these
things, nor to get too near steam shovels, which "pick up anything,
from an elephant to a red-bug," but sometimes drop a ton rock; nor play
around near track-lifters and dirt-train emptiers--for the things are
small respecters of persons. But most people do not get hurt, and I
never met anyone who wanted to leave; and I believe the threat to send
the men home broke the only strike on the Canal.

I did not go to Panama to study engineering--which I know nothing
about; or social problems--which I had not time to master; or Central
American politics--which we are in for; but to draw the Canal as it is,
and the drawings are done.

I was there at the psychological moment, and am glad I went. It
is not my business to answer the question: When will the Canal be
opened?--though they say it will be open within a year.

Will the dam stand? Those who have built it say so.

Which is better, a sea level or a lock? The lock canal is built.

I did not bother myself about these things, nor about lengths and
breadths and heights and depths. I went to see and draw the Canal,
and during all the time I was there I was afforded every facility for
seeing the construction of the Panama Canal, and from my point of
view it is the most wonderful thing in the world; and I have tried to
express this in my drawings at the moment before it was opened, for
when it is opened, and the water turned in, half the amazing masses of
masonry will be beneath the waters on one side and filled in with earth
on the other, and the picturesqueness will have vanished. The Culebra
Cut will be finer, and from great steamers passing through the gorge,
worth going 15,000 miles, as I have done, to see. But I saw it at the
right time, and have tried to show what I saw. And it is American--the
work of my countrymen.

                                                  JOSEPH PENNELL



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


THE ILLUSTRATIONS BEGIN WITH COLON AND PROCEED IN REGULAR SEQUENCE
ACROSS THE ISTHMUS TO PANAMA.

         I COLON: THE AMERICAN QUARTER

        II MOUNT HOPE

       III GATUN: DINNER TIME

        IV AT THE BOTTOM OF GATUN LOCK

         V THE GUARD GATE, GATUN

        VI APPROACHES TO GATUN LOCK

       VII END OF THE DAY: GATUN LOCK

      VIII THE JUNGLE: THE OLD RAILROAD FROM THE NEW

        IX THE NATIVE VILLAGE

         X THE AMERICAN VILLAGE

        XI THE CUT AT BAS OBISPO

       XII IN THE CUT AT LAS CASCADAS

      XIII THE CUT FROM CULEBRA

       XIV STEAM SHOVEL AT WORK IN THE CULEBRA CUT

        XV THE CUT: LOOKING TOWARD CULEBRA

       XVI THE CUT AT PARAISO

      XVII THE CUT LOOKING TOWARD ANCON HILL

     XVIII LAYING THE FLOOR OF PEDRO MIGUEL LOCK

       XIX THE GATES OF PEDRO MIGUEL

        XX THE WALLS OF PEDRO MIGUEL

       XXI BUILDING MIRAFLORES LOCK

      XXII CRANES: MIRAFLORES LOCK

     XXIII WALLS OF MIRAFLORES LOCK

      XXIV OFFICIAL ANCON

       XXV FROM ANCON HILL

      XXVI THE CATHEDRAL, PANAMA

     XXVII THE CITY OF PANAMA FROM THE TIVOLI HOTEL, ANCON

    XXVIII THE MOUTH OF THE CANAL FROM THE SEA



I COLON: THE AMERICAN QUARTER


The city of Colon is divided into two quarters--the native, or
Panamanian, and the American. The former is picturesque, but has
nothing to do with the Canal and is some distance from it. The Canal
cannot be seen from the city. The American quarter, in which the Canal
employees live, stands on the sea shore, and is made up of bungalows,
shops, hotels, hospitals--all that goes to make up a city--save
saloons. All are built of wood, painted white, and completely screened
with wire gauze, rusted black by the dampness, a protection from
mosquitoes and other beasts, bugs and vermin. Raised on concrete
supports mostly with long, gently sloping roofs, and buried in a forest
of palms, the town, the first the visitor will see, seems absolutely
Japanese, is very pictorial and full of character. The design, I
believe, of the houses was made by the American engineers or
architects.

Very few of the higher Canal officers live at Colon, which is the
Atlantic seaport of the Isthmus, the eastern mouth of the Canal, though
Colon is west of Panama--such is the geography of the country.

The mouth of the Canal will be fortified; breakwaters and light-houses
are being built.

For authorities on fortification it may be interesting to state that
the forts will be so situated that the locks will be completely out
of range of an enemy's guns. Personally I am not a believer in wars
or navies. If my theories were practised there would be no need for
fortifications.

[Illustration]



II MOUNT HOPE


Near Mount Hope, which--for the French--should be called the Slough of
Despond, or the Lake of Despair, is a huge swamp about a mile or so
from Colon, on the left bank of the French Canal, seen on the right of
the lithograph. This swamp is now filled with all sorts of abandoned
French machinery. Dredges, locomotives, and even what seem to be lock
gates, show amid the palms in the distance. Huge American cranes for
raising this French material--which the American engineers have made
use of--and discharging cargo from the ships in the French Canal--which
is here finished and in use--loom over the swamp, the banks of which
are lined with piers and workshops full of life--a curious contrast to
the dead swamp in which not a mosquito lives, nor a smell breathes.

[Illustration]



III GATUN: DINNER TIME


Between Mount Hope and Gatun is much more of the swamp and much more
abandoned machinery, but the Canal is not to be seen from the railroad,
or any evidence of it, till the train stops at the station of Old
Gatun, with its workmen's dwellings crowning the hillside. I regret
I made no drawing of these, so picturesquely perched. At the station
of Gatun--the first time I stopped--I saw the workmen--in decorative
fashion--coming to the surface for dinner. The lithograph was made from
a temporary bridge spanning the locks and looking toward Colon. The
great machines on each side of the locks are for mixing and carrying
to their place, in huge buckets, the cement and concrete, of which the
locks are built. The French Canal is in the extreme distance, now used
by our engineers.

[Illustration]



IV AT THE BOTTOM OF GATUN LOCK


There is a flight of three double locks at Gatun by which ships will be
raised eighty-five feet to the level of Gatun Lake. From the gates of
the upper lock--the nearest to the Pacific--they will sail across the
now-forming lake some miles (about twenty, I believe) to the Culebra
Cut; through this, nine miles long, they will pass, and then descend by
three other flights of locks, at Pedro Miguel and Miraflores, to the
Pacific, which is twenty feet higher, I believe, than the Atlantic.
The great height, eighty-five feet, was agreed upon so as to save
excavation in the Cut and time in completion--one of those magnificent
labor-saving devices of the moment--which I, not being an engineer, see
no necessity for--having waited four hundred years for the Canal, we
might, as an outsider, it seems to me, have waited four more years and
got rid of a number of the locks, even if it cost more money.

The lithograph made in the middle lock shows the gates towering on
either side. These gates were covered, when I made the drawing, with
their armor plates. The lower parts, I was told, are to be filled with
air, and the gates, worked by electricity, will virtually float. The
scaffolding is only temporary, and so is the opening at the bottom and
the railroad tracks, which were filled up and discarded while I was
there. So huge are the locks--the three, I think, a mile long, each
one thousand feet between the gates, and about ninety feet deep--that,
until the men knock off, there scarce seems anyone around.

[Illustration]



V THE GUARD GATE, GATUN


There is a safety gate in each lock, to protect, in case of accident,
the main lock gate, just suggested, with the figures working at the
armor-plate facing, on the extreme right. Beyond are the outer walls
and approaches of the upper lock, and beyond these, but unseen, the
lake. At the bottom is the railroad and the temporary opening shown
in the previous drawing. The scale, the immensity of the whole may be
judged by the size of the engines and figures. I have never seen such a
magnificent arrangement of line, light and mass, and yet those were the
last things the engineers thought of. But great work is great art, and
always was and will be. This is the Wonder of Work.

[Illustration]



VI APPROACHES TO GATUN LOCK


These huge arches, only made as arches to save concrete and to break
the waves of the lake, are mightier than any Roman aqueduct, and more
pictorial, yet soon they will be hidden almost to the top by the waters
of the lake. Electric locomotives will run out to the farthest point,
and from it, tow the ships into the lock. Beyond is Gatun Lake, and
to the right the lines of the French Canal and Chagres River stretch
to the horizon. Even while I was on the Isthmus the river and canal
disappeared forever before the waters of the rapidly rising flood. All
evidence of the French work beyond Gatun has vanished under water. I
did not draw the Dam or the Spillway simply because I could not find a
subject to draw, or could not draw it.

[Illustration]



VII END OF THE DAY--GATUN LOCK


This was another subject I saw as the men stopped work in the evening.
On the left is the stairway which most of them use, and on both sides
are iron ladders which a few climb. The semicircular openings are for
mooring the ships.

[Illustration]



VIII THE JUNGLE

THE OLD RAILROAD FROM THE NEW


While I was on the Isthmus the old line from Gatun to the Culebra Cut
at Bas Obispo was abandoned, owing to the rising waters of the lake,
which will soon cover towns, and swamps, and hills, and forests. This
drawing was made looking across the lake near Gatun, with the dam in
the distance, and I have tried to show the rich riot of the jungle.
Below, on the old road, is a steam shovel digging dirt. The little
islands, charming in line, are little hills still showing above the
waters of the forming lake.

[Illustration]



IX THE NATIVE VILLAGE


This lithograph was made on the new line, which discovered to the
visitor primitive Panama, its swamps, jungles and native villages; but,
owing to Colonel Gorgas, native no longer, as they are odorless and
clean; but the natives, with their transformation, seem to prefer to
the palm-leaf roof, corrugated iron and tin, and abandoned freight cars
to live in. The huts are mostly built on piles near the rivers. In the
background can be seen the strange-shaped mountains and strange-shaped
trees. The white tree--I don't know its name--with the bushy top has
no bark, and is not dead, but puts out leaves, Mrs. Colonel Gaillard
tells me, in summer; and she also tells me the jungle is full of the
most wonderful orchids, birds, snakes, monkeys and natives, and offered
to take me to see them. I saw her splendid collection of orchids at
Culebra, through the luxuriance of which Colonel Gaillard says he has
to hew his way with a machete every morning to breakfast, so fast do
plants grow on the Isthmus. Advantage of this rapidity of jungle growth
has been taken to bind together the completed parts of the surface of
the dam, which are covered with so much vegetation that I could not
tell Nature's work from that of the engineers.

[Illustration]



X THE AMERICAN VILLAGE


These are scattered all across the Continent, hemmed in by the tropical
jungle or placed on the high, cool hill. In all there is, first, the
news-stand at the station; then, the hotel--really restaurants--where
on one side the Americans "gold employees" dine for thirty cents,
better than they could for a dollar at home--and more decently; men,
women and children. On the other, in a separate building, usually,
the "silver employees" foreigners; and there are separate dining and
sleeping places and cars for negroes, even on workmen's trains. The
Indian has the sense and pride to live his own life down there, apart,
as at home in India. There are many in the Zone.

The head men in each of these towns have their own houses; the lesser
lights share double ones; and I believe the least of all, bunks; but
these matters didn't interest me, nor did sanitary conditions or social
evils or advantages.

There are also clubs, I believe, social centres, mothers' meetings,
churches, art galleries and museums on the Isthmus, but I never saw
them. I was after picturesqueness. Still, it is no wonder, under
present conditions, that I never found a man who wanted to
"go home"--and some hadn't been home for seven years, and dreaded
going--and rightly. The Canal Zone is the best governed section of the
United States.

[Illustration]



XI THE CUT AT BAS OBISPO


The Culebra Cut commences near Bas Obispo--from this place--where
the Chagres River enters Gatun Lake, the cut extends for nine miles,
to Pedro Miguel. All between here and Gatun will be under water. The
drawing was made at the bottom of the cut, and the various levels on
which the excavations are made may be seen. The dirt trains, one above
the other, are loading up from the steam shovels on each side of the
old river bed in the centre. The machinery for shifting tracks and
unloading trains is wonderful, but not very picturesque.

[Illustration]



XII IN THE CUT AT LAS CASCADAS


This drawing shows the cut and gives from above some idea of the
different levels on which the work is carried out. It is on some of
these levels that slides have occurred and wrecked the work. The
slides move slowly, not like avalanches, but have caused endless
complications; but Colonel Gaillard, the engineer in charge, believes
he will triumph over all his difficulties--which include even a small
volcano--there is a newspaper story--but no earthquakes.

[Illustration]



XIII THE CUT FROM CULEBRA


At this point the cut is far the deepest at the continental divide, and
here the French did their greatest work, and here this is recorded by
the United States on a placque high up on the left-hand bare mountain
face of Gold Hill. The drawing was made looking towards Pedro Miguel.

[Illustration]



XIV STEAM SHOVEL AT WORK IN THE CULEBRA CUT


This beast, as they say down there, "can pick up anything from an
elephant to a red-bug"--the smallest thing on the Isthmus. They also
say the shovel "would look just like Teddy if it only had glasses." It
does the work of digging the Canal and filling the trains, and does it
amazingly--under the amazing direction of its amazing crews.

[Illustration]



XV THE CUT--LOOKING TOWARD CULEBRA


This is the most pictorial as well as the most profound part of
the cut. Culebra, the town, is high above--some of it has fallen
in--on the edge in the distance--on the left. The white tower is an
observatory from near which the lithograph No. XIII of the cut was
made. The drawing is looking toward the Atlantic. The engineer of the
dirt train--the smoke of which is so black because the engines burn
oil--climbed up to see what I was at, and incidentally told me he was
paid $3,600 a year, had a house free and two months' holiday. It is
scarcely wonderful he has little interest in home, but the greatest
pride in "our canal," and his only hope was to be "kept on the job" and
run an electric locomotive for the rest of his life.

[Illustration]



XVI THE CUT AT PARAISO


At this point the old railroad crosses the Canal bed, and there is
a splendid view in both directions. This is looking toward the same
mountains as in the previous drawing, early in the morning. The
mountains are covered with long lines of mist, under which nestles
the American-Japanese town of Paraiso. The new line of railroad never
crosses the Canal, but passes behind the mountain on the right. The
scheme of having it follow the Canal through Culebra Cut has been
abandoned, owing to the slides.

[Illustration]



XVII THE CUT LOOKING TOWARD ANCON HILL


This is the view toward the Pacific from the same spot in the full
stress of work. The Pedro Miguel locks are in the distance, beyond is
Ancon Hill, dominating Panama, miles farther on; and to the right,
between the hills, but miles still farther, beyond Miraflores lock, the
Pacific.

[Illustration]



XVIII LAYING THE FLOOR OF PEDRO MIGUEL LOCK


This is the most monumental piece of work on the Canal, and the most
pictorial. The huge approaches, quite different in form from Gatun--for
all the locks have character, and the character of their builders--are
only arches to save concrete. Here were men enough laying the concrete
floor--others swarming over the gates not yet covered with their armor
plate. Beyond is the lock just shown between the gates.

[Illustration]



XIX THE GATES OF PEDRO MIGUEL


This is the same lock nearer the gates, and shows the great length of
it from gate to gate and something of its building and construction,
from my point of view.

[Illustration]



XX THE WALLS OF PEDRO MIGUEL


This was drawn from the opposite end of the lock and the great side
walls topped with their concrete-making crenellations and cranes are
seen. In the foreground, on the left, is one of the side openings for
emptying the water from one lock to another--for all the locks are
double, side by side, and ships will not have to wait until a lock is
empty, as is usual, before they can enter, but, as one empties, the
same water partly fills the one beside it, and so steamers will pass
without waiting. Two or three small vessels can go through at the same
time, as well as the largest with room to spare.

[Illustration]



XXI BUILDING MIRAFLORES LOCK


This lock, the nearest the Pacific, is again quite different and is the
work of a civil engineer, Mr. Williamson, and not of army officers,
like the rest. Between the two forces, I believe, the most fierce
harmony exists. The drawing shows the two locks side by side, the great
cranes--they are different, too--towering above. All the ground here
will be filled by a small lake between this lock and Pedro Miguel.

[Illustration]



XXII CRANES--MIRAFLORES LOCK


These great cranes travel to and fro, and as I drew the nearest I found
the lines changing, but thought there was something wrong with me.
So huge were they, and so silently and solemnly did they move, that
I could not believe they were moving. This is the Pacific end of the
lock--the last on the Canal.

[Illustration]



XXIII WALLS OF MIRAFLORES LOCK


The only wall in March of the approach to Miraflores may be contrasted
with the similar subject No. XX--Pedro Miguel.

Much as there was to be done in March, the engineer, Mr. Williamson,
had no doubt it would be finished this fall; for as fast as the other
locks were completed, men and machines were to be put on this.

[Illustration]



XXIV OFFICIAL ANCON


Amid these royal palm groves work and live many of the members of the
Isthmian Canal Commission--the rest are on the high hill at Culebra.
To the secretary, Mr. J. B. Bishop, and to his family, I am endlessly
indebted for endless help while on the Zone.

Ancon is a perfect Japanese town--built by Americans--and the interiors
of the houses here and at Culebra are as delightful as their owners are
charming--and I know of what I speak. The large building against the
ocean is the Administration Office of the Isthmian Canal Commission.

[Illustration]



XXV FROM ANCON HILL


A road winds up Ancon Hill, passing the official residences and the
hospitals, finally reaching a terrace bordered with royal palms. Below
to the left is the Tivoli Hotel, and still lower and farther away, the
city, while the Pacific fills the distance. This is the most beautiful
spot I saw on the Isthmus.

[Illustration]



XXVI THE CATHEDRAL, PANAMA


The Cathedral, one of a number of churches in the city of Panama,
stands in a large square. The feeling of all these, with their richly
decorated façades and long, unbroken side walls, is absolutely
Spanish--but the interiors are far more bare--much more like Italian
churches.

[Illustration]



XXVII THE CITY OF PANAMA FROM THE TIVOLI HOTEL, ANCON


From the wing of the Government hotel in which I stayed I looked out
over the city of Panama to the Pacific. If this city were in Spain, or
if even a decent description of it were in a European guide-book, the
hordes of Americans who go to the Canal would rave over it. As it is,
not many of them (not being told) ever see it, though there are few
towns in Europe with more character. But I regret to say my countrymen
don't know what they are looking at, or what to look at, till they have
a guide-book, courier or tout to tell them. The Government provides, I
am told, a Harvard graduate to perform the latter function, and sends
out daily an observation car across the Continent.

The two strange, flat-topped mountains, miles out at sea, are to be
fortified, and they are so far from shore, and the locks so far inland,
as to be out of range--as well as out of sight--of modern guns and
gunners.

[Illustration]



XXVIII THE MOUTH OF THE CANAL FROM THE SEA


This drawing was made from the channel which leads out to the Pacific
Ocean. The mouth of the Canal is on the left in the flat space between
the mountains; on the right of this, the dark mass on the edge of the
water is the docks and harbors; then comes the great, towering Ancon
Hill, one side all dug out in terraces for dirt, much of which goes to
fill in the outside of locks, which, however, will work before they are
filled in. And for what other purposes the War Department are going to
use this Gibraltar they alone know. The other side, a mass of palms
shelters the houses of the officials, and at the foot of the hill, to
the right, Panama--as beautiful as Naples or Tangier, yet hardly a
tourist knows it; and--well, the Government is not running a tourist
agency.

The breakwater, which will connect the fortified islands miles away
with the mainland, is just started in the centre. This is the first and
last view of Panama--and of the greatest work of modern times, the work
of the greatest engineers of all time.

                                                  JOSEPH PENNELL

[Illustration]



Life of James McNeill Whistler

BY ELIZABETH R. AND JOSEPH PENNELL


The Pennells have thoroughly revised the material in their Authorized
Life and added much new matter, which for lack of space they were
unable to incorporate in the elaborate two-volume edition now out of
print. Fully illustrated with 96 plates reproduced from Whistler's
works, more than half reproduced for first time.


Crown 8vo., fifth and revised edition.

Whistler binding, deckle edge.

$3.50 net.

Three quarters grain levant, $7.50 net.



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  | Transcriber's Note:                                              |
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  | Minor typographical errors have been corrected without note.     |
  |                                                                  |
  | Duplicated section headings have been omitted.                   |
  |                                                                  |
  | Italicized words are surrounded by underline characters,         |
  | _like this_.                                                     |
  |                                                                  |
  | [++] indicates a caption added by the transcriber.               |
  +------------------------------------------------------------------+





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