By 1870, interests in an isthmian canal in Central America were highly pursued by the British, United States and French Governments, but Michel Chevalier was one of the first to pursue concessions as an individual. In 1870, he made an agreement with Tomas Ayon, a Nicaraguan official, to gain a concession for a canal through that country along the San Juan River-Lake Nicaragua route. After political disarray in both countries soon afterwards, Chevalier lost his claim and attempted to regain it in 1875 and 1876 through appeals to Tomas Ayon, Manuel Peralta (a Costa Rican official) and Pedro Joaquin Chamorro, the President of the Republic of Nicaragua.
The material in this collection reflects
the consultation Chevalier was requesting from a Minister, probably in
Paris or a nearby capital, as to how he should approach Chamorro.
This Minister was probably a Central American diplomat in
Europe, possibly Peralta. The letter which Chevalier eventually sent
to Chamorro is also in the collection. It seems clear that Chevalier's
claims were so weak by the time of this correspondence that he would
not receive his concession, which was rejected by the Nicaraguan
Government rather quickly. It is of interest, also, that during this
correspondence, the United States' Inter oceanic Canal Commission
appointed by President Grant selected the Nicaraguan route as the most
probable one, making the concession all the more valuable to Chevalier.
Accession data: Purchased from Ginsburg, Catalogue 100,
#62, October, 1991. Bulk dates: 1875 - 1876 Span dates: 1863 -
1876 Extent: .25 linear feet
ACCESSION DATA: Purchased from Ginsburg, Catalogue 100, #62, October, 1991.
BULK DATES: 1875 - 1876
SPAN DATES: 1863 - 1876 EXTENT: 1 small box