Oregon by way of Cape Horn, more than any other causes, combined to direct the attention of the American people to conditions on the Isthmus, and led to the public demand that by one route or another an American waterway be constructed within a reasonable period of time and at a reasonable cost. It will serve no practical purpose to recite the subsequent facts and the chain of events which led to the passage of the act of March 3, 1899, which authorized the President to have a full and complete investigation made of the entire subject of Isthmian canals.
A million dollars was appropriated for the expenses of a commission, and in pursuance of the provisions of the act the President appointed a commission consisting of Rear-admiral Walker, United States Navy, president, and nine members eminent in their respective professions as experts or engineers. A report was rendered under the date of November 30, 1901, in which the cost of constructing a canal by way of Nicaragua was estimated at $189,864,06
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