The Path Between the Seas - Study Guide Book 1, Chapter 4 Summary & Analysis

David McCullough
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"Distant Shores" describes de Lesseps' five-month visit to the New World, where nothing changes his views or lessens his enthusiasm. Before sailing, he raises $400,000 selling founders' shares to rich and influential friends and buys out the T'rr Syndicate. Prospectus in hand, he drums up $80 million from small investors. An initial stock offering goes badly, when French bankers are wary and the press is hostile. Less than 10% of the 800,000 stocks sell. De Lesseps refunds investors and, undaunted, prepares another issue. He begins publishing a propaganda organ, Bullet in du Canal Interocyanique, forms a new International Technical Commission of famous engineers, and announces he will carry out the survey required by the Wyse Concession.

In December of 1879, a large entourage sails to Panama, arriving in the dry season. De Lesseps is hailed as second only to Columbus, and fills hearers with confidence. Colun (called Aspinwall...

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This section contains 927 words
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