Posts Tagged ‘Promoters’
Ferdinand Marie, Vicomte de Lesseps (1805-1894), was the French developer of the Suez Canal, which joined the Mediterranean and the Red Sea for the first time in 1869, and substantially reduced sailing distances and times between Europe and India.
He attempted to repeat this success with an effort to build a sea level canal in Panama during the 1880s, but the project failed and was finally completed by the United States in 1914, once developments in medicine had been made regarding malaria and yellow fever.
In his book, “The Path Between the Seas,” David McCullough described Ferdinand De Lesseps as follows:
“He kept in excellent physical condition. He exercised regularly—fencing, riding—and with the zest of a man half his age. He looked at least ten to fifteen years younger than he was. An admiring American of the day described him as ‘a small man, French in detail with…what is called a magnetic presence.’
A reporter for the New York Herald provided this description:
He bears his years with ease and grace, showing no sign of age in his movements, which are quick and frequent, though never jerky…His hair is almost white. His eyes are black, large, restless, and fringed by heavy lashes over which are shaggy eyebrows. His face is tanned…and ruddy with the evidence of perfect health. A mustache is the only one hirsute adornment on his face. It is small, iron-gray, bristling and has an aggressive look. In stature he is a little below medium height. His bearing is erect, his manner suave, courteous and polished.”
On a recent visit to Casco Viejo I saw a bust of this great man who had a great vision and a most determined mind. During his life he was both a hero and a villain. Regardless of how History judges him, he was man who dared to do extraordinary things. The results is something else.
Below are two photographs of his bust located at Plaza de Francia right in front of the French Embassy. Here we go.
If it were not for this great man of vision, the history of the world would have been a lot different. He made a difference, and that’s what it is all about. Panama is grateful for what he did. Good Day.