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Special Message

January 09, 1837

To the Senate of the United States.

Immediately after the passage by the Senate, at a former session, of the resolution requesting the President to consider the expediency of opening negotiations with the governments of other nations, and particularly with the Governments of Central America and New Granada, for the purpose of effectually protecting, by equitable treaty stipulations with them, such individuals or companies as might undertake to open a communication between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans by the construction of a ship canal across the isthmus which connects North and South America, and of securing forever by such stipulations the free and equal right of navigating such canal to all such nations on the payment of such reasonable tolls as ought to be established to compensate the capitalists who might engage in such undertaking and complete the work, an agent was employed to obtain information in respect to the situation and character of the country through which the line of communication, if established, would necessarily pass, and the state of the projects which were understood to be contemplated for opening such communication by a canal or a railroad. The agent returned to the United States in September last, and although the information collected by him is not as full as could have been desired, yet it is sufficient to show that the probability of an early execution of any of the projects which have been set on foot for the construction of the communication alluded to is not so great as to render it expedient to open a negotiation at present with any foreign government upon the subject.


Andrew Jackson, Special Message Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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