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Haupt, Lewis Muhlenberg (1844-1937) to John G. Walker

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC03804.30 Author/Creator: Haupt, Lewis Muhlenberg (1844-1937) Place Written: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 9 September 1898 Pagination: 1 p. ; 27.8 x 21.5 cm.

Summary of Content: Written by Haupt, who was working with Walker in Nicaragua (see GLC03804.25 -- he is referenced as one of the guests on the receipt) on the feasibility of creating a canal there. Says he heard that "Menocal has been 'pardoned'" and assigned to duty "on the Commission." (see GLC03804.25 and .26). Also reports that "Ehle" has returned to the United States without any data, which is withheld at Greytown, Nicaragua, and that "parties are still in the field." Says he has been advised that Mr. Huntington has such control over Congress that no canal bill can be passed inside of two years. Haupt believes the statements to be unfounded. Says that after a month's delay he got the "solar transit," borrowed for the government from Mr. Loring, through the custom house. Wants to know the rate and method of payment to the canal commissioners. Says he has had to liquidate some securities to defray his current expenses. Says he is still at work on "the estimates of Greytown and the divide cut." Would like to hear his suggestions on the preliminary report he sent in the spring. Says no definite decisions have been made on dimensions and that the estimates are held up as a result. Note on the margin mentions photographs that were sent (not included here). Edges of the letter have been repaired.

Background Information: Haupt studied at the Lawrence Scientific School at Harvard before graduating from West Point in 1867. After service as a lieutenant in the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers from 1868 to 1869, ...he returned to Philadelphia to work as a topographical engineer on Fairmount Park. After a short period in 1872 as an Assistant Engineer at the U. S. Patent Office, he became an instructor in math and engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. Haupt was promoted to assistant professor of civil engineering in 1873 and to full professor of civil engineering in 1875, a post he would hold until 1892. Haupt wrote many tracts on the subject of engineering, and served for a period as an editor of the American Engineering Register. In 1897 he was appointed by President McKinley to study the feasibility of a Nicaraguan canal linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. When the Panama site was finally chosen, he served on the Panama Canal Commission.

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People: Walker, John

Historical Era: Rise of Industrial America, 1877-1900

Subjects: MississippiProgressive EraUnion GeneralNavyLatin and South AmericaCanalsGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyMilitary LawCongressLawScience and TechnologySurveyingFinanceInfrastructurePhotography

Sub Era: The Gilded Age

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