the Fourth Week of Lent
The Nuttall Encyclopedia
Were familiar with the idea of connecting the two oceans by a canal through Central America as early as the beginning of the 16th century, and Dutch plans are said to exist dating from the 17th century. The first practical steps were taken by Ferdinand de Lesseps in 1879; two years later work was begun; the cost was estimated at £24,000,000, but on January 1,1889, the company was forced into liquidation after spending over £70,000,000, and accomplishing but a fifth of the work. Extravagance and incapacity were alleged among the causes of failure; but the apparently insurmountable difficulties were marshes, quicksands, and the overflow of the Chagres River, the prevalence of earthquakes, the length of the rainy season, the cost of labour and living, and the extreme unhealthiness of the climate.
Wood, James, ed. Entry for 'Panama Canal'. The Nuttall Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/​encyclopedias/​eng/​nut/​p/panama-canal.html. Frederick Warne & Co Ltd. London. 1900.