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mine owners come to terms, even if by him in gaining his point is not it involved the taking over of the wholly clear, the generally coal properties by the govern- cepted theory being that he threatment. By September the problem ened to appoint a committee which had ceased to be local and assumed would investigate the situation in the such national proportions that it anthracite region, particular attencould no longer be ignored. Presi- tion to be given to the relationship dent Roosevelt accordingly called a between the railways and the coal conference of the warring factions, mining companies. Whether this is October 3, 1901. This he did in spite the explanation or not, suffice it to of the fact that the mine owners had say that J. Pierpont Morgan, after a threatened his political extinction if conference with President Baer, he intervened in the affair. The Presi. sought an interview with President dent recognized his lack of power to Roosevelt and offered on the part of intervene in an official capacity, but the coal operators to accept the arbiappealed to their patriotism, plead- tration of a commission to be aping that they sacrifice all personal pointed by him, the decision of the considerations for the good of the same to be binding for a period of country. Mr. Mitchel agreed to the three years. He endeavored to dicappointment of a board of arbitra- tate the character of the personnel of tion, and pledged his organization to this commission, but the miners reaccept its terms. The others, how- fused to accept his proposal, declarever, denounced the government as a ing that the President should be free
contemptible failure that was com- to appoint whom he pleased. The promising itself with the instigators operators were forced to accept these of violence and crime.''
terms, and accordingly, at a convenTheir defiance and the arrogance
tion of the United Mine Workers at of their attitude had but one result: Wilkesbarre, October 20, the strike the closing of the conference with was declared at an end. nothing gained save injury to their The President appointed on this cause. They had also made an enemy commission Judge George Gray, of of a man who not only dearly loved the United States Circuit Court; the a fight, but who had sufficient power Commissioner of Labor, Carroll D. back of him to carry the fight to a Wright; Thomas H. Watkins; Genfinish. In addition public indigna- eral John M. Wilson; E. E. Clark, tion was rising to such a pitch that and Archbishop John L. Spalding. the President perceived that fur- This commission was not only reprether temporizing would prove dis- sentative, but it was thoroughly astrous. The result was the imme- equipped for the task before it. Exdiate capitulation of the
haustive hearings were held, each side owners. What method was employed of the controversy being given ample
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND LABOR ORGANIZED.
opportunity to present its evidence. of the Federal service was formed The result, however, was a sweeping by a law passed by Congress, Februvictory for the strikers. A 10 per ary 11, 1903. Bureaus from several cent. increase in wages was awarded; departments, especially those relatan eight-hour day after April 1, ing to industries, commerce and 1903; an increase of 1 per cent. in transportation, statistics, immigrawages to all employees for each 5 tion, and other kindred phases, were cents added to the price of coal f. o. b.
united under the direction of a new at the New York harbor. Other find- Cabinet officer. The first secretary ings were also made, among which under this act was George B. Cortelwas the establishment of a permanent you, appointed February 16, 1903; board of conciliation for settling fu- who was followed by Victor H. Metture disputes, the removal of all lim- calf in 1904, Oscar S. Straus in 1907, itations placed on the output of and Charles Nagel in 1909. miners; and the cessation of discrim- The prestige gained by the United inatory acts against non-union miners. States in international affairs as a The agreement was to remain in force result of the war with Spain soon until March 31, 1906. The commis
began to bear fruitage. One result sion also recommended the discontin- was the restoration of amicable relauance of the employment of a “coal tions with the German empire, which and iron police, a stricter enforce- had been disturbed by the activities ment of the law regarding the em- of the latter in the Philippines. The ployment of children, and State and
German Kaiser made a number of Federal machinery for the investiga- overtures of friendship, one of which tion of difficulties similar to those
was the sending of his brother, Prince referred to this commission.” (Re- Henry of Prussia, in January, 1902, port rendered March 21, 1903.) * on a visit to America. The ostensible
One of the most important results purpose of this was the launching of of this arbitration was unquestion- a yacht which was being built near ably the hastening of the passage of New York City, and which Miss an act organizing the Department of
Alice Roosevelt was invited to chrisCommerce and Labor, an important ten, but the underlying reason was function of which is to perform the clearly to remove a suspicion cherduties defined in the quotation from
ished for a long time by the Amerithe report of the Anthracite Arbitra
can people with regard to the untion Commission. This new branch
friendly intentions of the Emperor
William. Another strike took place in the gold mining districts of Colorado in 1903–4. Though local in
The restoration of an entente corscope this also commanded public attention by diale between the two nations stood in the extremes to which the leaders on both sides
good stead during another one of the permitted themselves to go. These disturbances lasted until the autumn of 1904.
perennial endeavors of the European
powers to collect pecuniary' claims Indies bids fair to become an assured against Venezuela which took place fact. during the same year. Great Brit- The first hope was for a natural ain, Germany, and Italy sent a joint strait, but a score of years of fruitexpedition to Venezuelan waters less search proved its non-existence early in 1902, and established a and therefore in 1529 Alvaro de blockade of the ports. Barring Saavedra Ceron, a follower of Balboa the shelling of a few forts, the and cousin of Cortez, prepared a blockade was essentially a peace- scheme for cutting a canal at the narful ” one, yet it had the effect, how- row isthmus of Panama. Four routes ever, of bringing President Cas- were proposed and it is interesting to tro to terms. As the allies disclaimed note that they were identical with the any purpose of presenting claims for four destined to be considered and territory, the Monroe Doctrine was examined by the modern engineers. not involved, and accordingly no offi- The real beginning of the canal entercial objection to the movement was prise, however, was in 1534, when made at Washington. President King Charles V. ordered surveys to Roosevelt was invited to act as arbi- determine the most feasible route. trator, but declined, using his in- From then on the project alternately fluence, however, in hastening a set- woke and slumbered, and though a tlement of the affair, which was ac- king of Spain promised the headscomplished February 28, 1903.
one energetic The most important and far-reach- enough to suggest even a revival of ing event of the first administration the scheme, the traffic needs of the of President Roosevelt was the suc
South Sea country tended to keep the cessful inauguration of a movement
idea alive. for the construction of a canal across The era of Spain's commercial the Isthmus of Panama. By the rati- supremacy slipped by without advanfication of the Hay-Herran Treaty, tage being taken of opportunity and March 17, 1903, the Senate of the until the beginning of the Nineteenth United States virtually pledged that century a canal at Panama received the nation would undertake the con- scarcely serious consideration. struction of the canal, thereby insur- Alexander von Humboldt then put ing the realization of a dream that new life into the plan and in 1814 the had been present in the mind of man Spanish crown, seeking to strengthen since Balboa struggled across the its weakening grasp upon its Amerinarrow strip of land, and caught the can colonies, determined upon the first glimpse of the Pacific. Thus in construction of an isthmian canal. A the Twentieth century the quest of cedula was issued, but before pracColumbus for a short route to the tical steps could be taken the revolu
WORK BEGUN UPON CANAL.
tions of Miranda and Bolivar wrested but futile projects based upon more Venezuela, Ecuador and Colombia or less honest intentions are to be from Spain. Panama declared its in- noted and, until the gold excitement dependence in 1822, and allied itself of 1849 in California, the United with Colombia under the title of New
States had shown little more than an Grenada. The turmoil of the political attitude of approval toward the canal rearrangement that followed in Cen- question. In 1846, however, before tral America had hardly subsided be- any whisper of the presence of the fore the first Central American envoy,
yellow metal had been heard, the Señor Antonio Jose Canaz, ap
United States negotiated a treaty proached Secretary of State Henry
with the republic of New Grenada, Clay with the suggestion of a canal
consisting then of the two independthrough Nicaragua, and though lack
ent states of Panama and Colombia, ing official authority to enter into such
obtaining for Americans entry-port a scheme, Clay's appreciation of the privileges and transit rights, equal in project was such that he ordered a
every respect to those enjoyed by the
Grenadian citizens, their vessels and survey of the route. The Central American congress
merchandise. Under this treaty, *
the Panama Railroad Company, comthe same year granted a concession which was afterward transferred to
posed of William Henry Aspinwall, an American company known as the
John Lloyd Stephens and others, ob
tained a concession from New GrenCentral American & United States
ada, and work on a line from AspinAtlantic and Pacific Canal Com
wall (now Colon) to Panama was pany, among the members of which
begun in 1849 and the first train was were De Witt Clinton, Monroe Robinson and A. H. Palmer.* This com
run over the entire line in January,
1855. The construction difficulties in pany's conception of the magnitude
this then stupendous work of the task may be gathered from the fact that it was capitalized at $5,000, scarcely be imagined. The country
produced nothing, and was a desolate 000. A concession to a Dutch com
wilderness and every scrap of food pany in 1829 proved an equal failure.
and clothing had to come from New A franchise for a canal at Panama
York. was granted by Simon Bolivar, presi
Great Britain's seizure of the Mosdent of New Grenada, who, on the
quito Coast and San Juan River failure of the grantee undertook the
roused President Polk to send a spework himself, but progressed no fur
cial envoy, Elijah Hise, to that counther than to obtain a faulty survey. For some years thereafter nothing
* New Grenada Treaty ratified June 10, 1848.
† An account of this first real struggle with * See Flouse Report No. 145, 20th Congress, 2d the problem will be found in Wolfred Nelson's session.
Five Years in Panama.
try in 1849 to examine into the situa- construction and maintenance of a tion with a view to discovering how canal. This was acceded to, but the far British actions were controvert- American minister at London, Abbott ing the Monroe Doctrine. As a check- Lawrence, injected a strong dash of mate to Great Britain's designs, Hise pepper into the fraternal pudding by negotiated a treaty with Nicaragua declaring that Great Britain's claim granting to the United States or its to the Mosquito Coast was without citizens exclusive right to construct right or reason, with no foundation a road, railroad or canal across the in law or justice, and that it should country from coast to coast, to for- be abandoned. Lawrence was ignored tify and protect the same and in re- by Washington, a question of Nicaturn to guarantee to Nicaragua the
ragua's right to the Mosquito Coast maintenance of her territorial sover- was raised as a foil, and Sir Henry eignty. This treaty was rejected by Bulwer was sent to America to carry the Senate and the diplomatic ma
on the negotiations. The New York chinery at Washington set in motion
company had already established a by Secretary of State John M. Clay- line of transportation
the ton. Negotiations on the subject country by stages, and steamers on were opened with the British Minis
the Nicaragua lake with steamship ter and E. G. Squier was sent to connections between New York and replace the embarrassingly active San Francisco under a franchise
a Mr. Hise. The meat of the nut lay which Squier secured, and his subin the possibility of interference by stitute treaty with Nicaragua varies Great Britain with the canal project but little from the Hise agreement as of the New York capitalists and her
to neutrality and guaranteed soverdefiance of the Monroe Doctrine by eignty. her Mosquito Coast occupancy. Con- While Bulwer and Clayton were fronted by a Democratic majority in struggling with the preliminary draft the Senate it was Secretary Clay- of a treaty, Great Britain was presston's pleasing task to obtain seem- ing Honduras for payment of an old ingly impossible concessions from
claim, and her designs embraced the Great Britain or, failing that, to seizure of Tigre Island and the Bay present the possible in such form as of Fonseca in default of payment. would pass muster before the oppo- Squier endeavored to check this agnents of the administration. Clay- gression, as Hise had done, by a ton's offer was in the nature of a treaty with Honduras which praccompromise; British right to control tically ceded both island and bay to the Mosquito Coast would be diplo- the United States. A British fleet matically conceded provided such next appeared off the coast and control would not interfere with the forcibly seized the territory in ques