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I. TABOGA .................................... I
fI. HOSPITAL .................................... 3
III PERStNA \L EXPERIENCES ...................
IV. FHE CH. R:CH ................................ 28
V. SC:HOOLS .................................... -10
VT. SOCIAL ANDI CLBS ............................ 7
V II. A R M Y ... ......... ......................... 5
VIII. REMINISCENCES .... ......................... 59
INDEX TO ILLUSTRATIONS
ICHU[HCH Al' ABOGA ............. ......... Frontispiece
TROPICAL PLANTS ........................ Page 2
A BIT OF THE BLUE SEA ................... Page 8
I WAS BORN ON THE CANAL ZONE ......... Page *;
ON THE BAYANO RIVER ............ ...... Page 39
HAPPY HUNTERS ................. .......... Page 46
FIFTEEN HUNDRED POUNDERS ............ Page 51
During the height of the construction period of the Pan-
ama Canal our force consisted of approximately five thou.
sand "gold,' 'or American employees, and thirty thousand
"silver," or alien, employees; and one of our most difficult
problems was to keep our force full and up to the mark in
efficiency. The problem was the more difficult with the
American employees, because they were in an alien land, far
from home, subject to the peculiar discomforts and diseases
of a tropical climate, and removed from the restraining in-
fluences of the surroundings to which they had been accus-
F6r the benefit of the American employees hotels and
eating places, where good food was served, were constructed
and operated, clubhouses with various attractions were pro-
vided, and baseball and other games were encouraged. It is
without doubt true, however, that the largest single factor
in the contentment, and therefore in the permanency and
efficiency, of these men, was the policy of providing family
quarters so that they might have their wives with them on
the Isthmus. We expended something like three and one.
half millions of dollars for quarters for employees and, as
approximately one-third of our "gold" force was supplied
with family quarters, a large part of the sum was necessarily
expended in this way.
It was well expended. There was doubt at first whether
so large an expenditure for the purpose was justified, but I
believed that it was, and in looking back I am more than ever
convinced of the wisdom of the policy. In any body of men
removed for a long period' from the restraining and refining
influences of women, there is inevitable deterioration; it is
emphatically true that "it is not good for man to be alone."
I feel that women, and especially those of the pioneer
days who braved dangers and discomforts that have not been
the lot of the later comers, deserve recognition for their part
in the building of the Canal; that any woman who, during
our work here, was a real helpmeet in the home, and an in-
fluence for good in the community, is just as deserving of
credit and praise as the man who bossed a gang or ran a
shovel. Both did their duty, and in their different spheres
performed service that was essential to the completion of the
great task undertaken by the Nation.
May 11, 1916.
Mrs. Ernest Ulrich von Munchow:
Kingston, N. Y.
My dear Mrs. von Munchow:
I am in receipt of your letter of the ist
instant, and am inclosing some remarks
which I hope will satisfactorily serve as a
preface for the book.
With best wishes,
Yours very sincerely,
GEO. W. GOETHALS.
In dedicating this book to the rising generation of the
present, and to the world at large, to give an estimate of
work. done by the women on the Panama Canal during the ten
years construction gives me the utmost pleasure, and the
recall of many eventful and proud occasions in behalf of the
building of the Canal, as well as of the standard of domestic
and social affairs, work of the twentieth century and due to
The following is a resume of achievement of our women
in America on the Isthmus. Although not all born American
women, we are loyal to the Banner and proud to say: vini-
vidi-vici on the Isthmus of Panama-
Mrs. Ernest von Munchow.
Some of the men the Canal has made have received
thanks and promotions from Congress and the President and
the Star and Herald has written an evidence about all of
them. So they are not quite forgotten or unappreciated. But
what about the women who made the Canal?
Dr. Mason wrote a book about "The Phase of Women in
Human Culture," using the word culture in its scientific not
its social sense. He proved how women had been the direct
cause or the inspiration of most of human achievement.
The first three years of American occupation were years
of pioneer experiences for women as well as men. on the
Canal 'Zone. But the restricted life of women made it one of
great isolation and loneliness of some and of broad perspection
for those whose vision could reach beyond their own cozy
The development of the school, church, and social activ-
ities were of much interest. The cosmopolitan feature of
the population gave me the opportunity of becoming inti-
mately acquainted with the daily life and customs of people
from any section of our own country and many from Europe
and other parts of the world, which would have been well
nigh impossible to acquire in any other way. Another rare
privilege was that of meeting and conversing with men who
had worked on many of the great engineering jobs in dif.
But, greatest of all, was the interest in our great Ameri-
can job of digging the Canal which at first seemed but a
vision handed down from the earliest explorers, then, to a
pos;ibilily and finally to a fact and the great ships of the
world were seen passing through the vast man-made gorge,
the bottom of which had been as familiar to our feet as our
own door yard.
After all, in the words of J. S. Gilbert "'Tis a land
thai still n it potent charm and wonderous lasting spell, with
mighty [h rally enchaineth all who long within it dwell."
History shows it abundantly. The Grecian Helen caused
the destruction of Troy, which forced Aeneas to go to Italy
to found Rome. Caesar's defiance of Sulla when ordered to
put away his young wife led ultimately to a change in the
Roman constitution and altered the map and the history of
Europe. In the Hebrew story, it was woman who was the
wife of the Fall, but the mother of Redemption Examples
might be multiplied, but this is no historical essay-it is a
vindication of the fact that the women made the Canal.
Oh, yes they did. It is true that it might conceivably
have been without them-just as it might without the West
Indians or the steam shovel or the Colonel. But the fact is
that they all did it, and facts are stubborn things.
Those who know how they did it will never argue the
question. Perhaps a few bachelors or grass widowers who
never knew they did it may try to discuss it, but they might
as well argue with Cucuracha in motion.
They nursed it. Col. Gorgas knew what they could do in
this way, for he married a trained nurse before he went to
lavana and he brought her to Panama-and many another
after her; all of them nursed the blueshirters, many married
They fed it. The "army that fights on its stomach" as
Bonaparte said might have done well on the I. C. C. hotel
fare, but they did infinitely better at the tables of the Canal
They taught it. The men had children and they were
happy if they could see their children at morn and eve and
the children had to be educated and women taught them until
many of the men married many of them.
They took part in it. Not a large number perhaps, but
enough women have the Roosevelt medal to make him proud
that his face is on it.
They cheered it. That they did; The dances, the parties,
in the churches and at the ball games they made the land
look like it was really inhabited They made the Panama rail-
road trains look like home. They sang, they played and even
if they only sat and were looked at they cheered his life along
as he "swung the cranes around and went on to deeper
SAnd then they made it home, Ah there's the point. The
government might have built .barracks of silver and floored
them with gold; it might have put on its hotel tables the vin-
tages of fair champagne and: the pates of old St.ra. burg-but
no woman, no home, for God made it so from the beginning of
creation, and ordained it to the end of time.
So it -came-to pass that what was man's job, became
woman's achievement. The pity of it has been that so far
nonliterary genius has arisen adequate to.tell the story. For
while history has dealt preponderatingly with men, it has
been thfe privilege of romance to tell the truth about women.
But some day there will rise one who shall tell the story of
hlow they braved the terrors of the ocean, scouted the evil
reputation of the land, faced the mosquitoes, bearded the
jungle, nursed the sick and buried their dead with an un.
faltering spirit, whose heroism no pen can describe. .
Whether ruling in regal beauty over the drawing room
or making music at the sewing, machine, whether coming
from homes long the centers of wealth and culture .or- from
the fight with social disadvantage in the ranks of the toilers,-
they made a'sisterhood which one bond was common to them
all. The men came for money, for adventure, for fame or
in sheer wanderlust-the women came for love-and in that
they found what one said nigh 2,000.years ago was the "ful-
filment of the law," the greatest of all- And when they went
to where under the canopy of the bright tropic sky and be-
neath the evergreen sod they laid away their loved ones to
rest,* it was oftenest, perhaps a babe cradled on the: canal
and lisping little notes where strange birds sang and'unt-
known flowers bloomed,-what tears they shed were the seed
of a new life in the soil of this land long cursed with strife
and sodden with grief. They were not shed invain, for as
the story sooner or later strikes far and wide in the know.
ledge of mankind, it will do its destined part in the redemp-
tion of the lost lands and peoples. of the. earth. The. seed
was sown in sorrow, but it will. ripen into everlasting joy.
Cecil Rhodes was hater of decent women. He tried to
found a South African empire without them and made war
on the marry Boers, for a time he beat them, but Botha ul-
timately look Rhode-s place'as the great man of South Africa
and the Boers ruled there and but for their loyal devotion
now, that rich land with its hundred million of gold per year
would ere this be in the German empire.
Colonel Goethals was wiser than Rhodes. He loved one
woman and esteemed all other good women, and made the
canal a place for them. He builded better than he knew, for
after all the canal is only a thing of concrete and steel, a hole
in the ground and a pond of water; but the men and women
are human flesh and blood, whose example will inspire the
after ages even if the canal becomes naught but a picturesque
ruin- They are those who gave to a mere idea the solid sub.
stance of a thing created and they will inspire the creative
genius of mankind in every land and age while memory en-
dures or tradition lives; while among all those human forces
here there has stood forth pre-eminent for good the sweet
presence, the ennobling influence, the inspiring voice of her
to whom history can never do full justice and of whom it may
"Earth hath not her equal."
CHURCH AT TABOGA
Mn. D. E. l'rihi.
A TOAST TO TABOGA.
Here's to Taboga! the isle of recreation
Where the canal diggers go to spend their vacation
Which the ocean so blue encircles around
Where flowers and fruits in abundance are found.
Here's to Hotel Aspinwall, that stands on its shore
Where they gather in numbers sometimes less,
Where the fevered and weary go out for a rest,
Where the sight-seeing tourist signs up as a guest.
Here's to the teachers! who seek refuge from noise
Of troublesome, frolicking, girls and boys,
Who require their attention from.eight until three
How their nerves reach the limit we can plainly see.
Here's to the nurses! who with a smile
Welcome the quiet on this little isle
Where they can forget about powder and pills,
And don't have to listen to everyone's ills.
Here's to the gong! that calls us to dinner
Come on you weak ones or you will get thinner.
A waiter will serve you in courteous style,
Eat drink and be merry, and smile, smile, smile.
Here's to the village! where natives abide.
In peace and contentment, live side by side.
Knowing naught of the world, but their homes neathh
By eating and dreaming life's mission they fill.
Here's to the bathing beach! here's to the rest.
Of all Taboga's pleasure! which do you like best?
If you have enjoyed them tell your tired friends,
To come to this isle, where all trouble ends.
MRS. LOU SHIGLEY.
Beautiful Panamal Queen of the West
Queen of a nation thrice happy and blest;
Holding the world in thy hand's golden clasp,
Pray we that nothing unloosen thy grasp.
SMagical growth of a decade behold!
Prophesies now of thy future unfold;
Wondrous republic,, because of thy skill,
Greater thy destiny now to fulfill.
Beautiful Panama! Isthmian Queen!
Pledge we our loyalty matchless and clean;
\Vorthy of homage, how gladly we bring
Into thy hand both the sceptre and ring.
Girt 'round with purity, freedom and right,
Rise we together to summits of light;
Then will the hemispheres sing as a whole,
Sing of a vibrant land, land with a soul.
Classical annals, no matter how rare,
Deeds of such valor shall never declare;
Down the long ages no name now shall shine
Brighter or fairer or dearer than thine.
Beautiful Panama! Great is thy fame!
Pride of the world! We salute at thy name;
Low at thy dias, imploring, we pray
Este perpetual Live thou.for aye.
(Mrs. Edgar Alfred.)
FANNIE B. STEELE.
. .. +
The Beautiful Ancon, Hopeful were the Victims of
At the base of Ancon Hill stands the beautiful and picture-
esque hospital where the stricken canal builders are being
tended. Nature seems to have designed this spot for so mer-
ciful a mission, for standing on the verdant hill with its slop-
ing side and winding trails, and looking down below at the
compilation of buildings crossed here and there with beauti-
ful walks shaded by interlacing vines, the panorama presents
a spectacle so sublime that it baffles the language of tongue
and pen for description. Here in these peaceful dwellings,
kissed by heaven's sunshine and cooled by aelian smiles
emanating from the Pacific waters, one comes into daily con-
tact with pain and misery. Here vice and virtue meet in all
kinds of patients, some to return no more, some crippled for
life as objects of pity, others to resume their work in this
struggling world of sin and woe.
You want to know something about the Isthmus. Well if
you could see us now with street cars, jitneys, electric street
lamps, beautiful roads and .concrete walks everywhere. We
even have moving picture shows. You would little think it
the same place that I landed in eight and one half years ago.
The first thing that impressed me was the dreadful gongs
on the poor old coaches with their Spanish drivers, dirty and
unkept and such mules you never saw in your life, nothing
but skin and bones. Poor things, they were forever falling
or kicking which ever way the spirit moved them.
After arriving at the nurses' quarters on Ancon hill, I was
shown my room. How shall I ever forget the damp smell?
It seemed impossible that anyone could sleep there. Do you
remember going into the subway when it first opened and the
cement not yet dry, that awful odor? Well it resembled that,
only worse. But when one is weary they will sleep and so
it was only too soon morning and I was awakened by a great
bell being rung on the porch by a colored man, that was the
rising bell. But to hear the birds in the bushes was cer-
tainly a pleasure, the sounds were so different from our
After a hurried toilet, I proceeded down the hill to the
mess. All along from under the board walks the lizards ran
to and fro. Just think you could see the deer walking around
on the hill above us and one morning a waiter killed a snake
some six feet long-
In the dining room all waiters spoke Spanish so it was
very necessary to learn a few words soon or take what was
given you to eat.
You will, of course, think of the hospital as being in one -
large building of some kind. No! It is in a number of wooden
buildings, scattered around two sides of the hill. They are pul_
ling down some of the buildings now and so many improve-
ments have been added that already the place looks different.
But the stories those old walls could tell if they could speak.
The old colored wards known as the farm was indeed a busy
place and the sight is now where the Governor and Colonel
Hodges have their homes.
One of the old buildmgs had four wards of about twenty-
two beds each and some eight or nine rooms yet frequently
we had cots down the center of the wards and on the porches
and all filled. It was not usual to have as many as forty or
fifty patients come in one day and some were pretty sick men
you may be sure, while others were not so bad and would
improve quickly after the regulation doses of calomel, salts
It does not seem possible for anyone to take twenty
graines of quinine at once, yet I have known of some cases
who received as high as eighty-five graines in twenty.four
hours. How the nurses as well as the patients hated the
quinine hypodermics when they had to be given. Of course,
most of the cases were malaria while not a few were other
well known diseases equally as bad or worse- For I have
even taken care of leprosy, but don't worry, I didn't catch it.
To be night nurse and have not only that building but the
other also, which we termed the "Annex" where convales-
cents were to watch meant work. Yet we enjoyed it.
Don't you love the nights? The world over they are
thought a lot of, but in the tropics are such wonderful nights
just made to dream in whether one is asleep or awake. Many
times have I watched the Southern Cross wend its way across
the sky, and when the moon is full one can easily read a
newspaper out of doors.
The midnight hour of all others, God made to think and
pray in, yet how many of us it finds sleeping. It is then the
breezes change and induce the fevered patients to sleep and
rest. All the world seems to sleep. There is to remember
the midnight suppers and the old brakes that gathered us
up when the night's work was done.
If, when dead they place my weary bones in a morgue, I
shall sleep in peace for have I not already slept many nights
in one, when contagious diseases made it impossible for me to
sleep in the quarters. But sleep wasn't real quiet and peaceful.
If the ghost had looked in and seen me in the middle of the
night sitting up in bed with my hair hanging down my back,
a lighted candle in an old tomato can, trying to catch mos_
quitoes that were biting, regardless of the netting over the
bed, they would be more soared than ever before and
wonder what kind of people this generation was producing.
But we had our pleasures too, when not on duty. There
were dances, cards parties, teas and horse-back riding very
much the same as these days. The trails were good but the
tick and the red bugs were fierce. There was a trail that
lead to a tree on a hill in Gorgona in which you could stand
and see both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Poor Gorgona
is now under water for the great water way is opened to the
We had a hurricane in 1909 that threatened to destroy
us.all for a few minutes. A part of the roof on the old farm
building blew off, and great big trees went down. We have
had no hurricane since. We have an occasional tidal
wave and every little while an earthquake, just enough to
keep us sitting up and taking notice.
We don't have zero weather nor sleigh-rides but we have
.other things that take their places- How about going on an
:alligator hunt, getting up at 2 a.m. to start and being gone
:two days? On this trip we killed about fifty very large ones
,and camped out over night. Don't you think that makes up
for some of the things we miss by staying down here?
There are a great many changes not only in places but
faces since those good old days. Many of us have been per-
:suaded that to care for a family of two or more would be
.a change so as you know we still continue our work oh the
isthmus by making life worth while and thus keeping our
husband on the "job" so to speak. Each fills a vacancy, al-,
though we don't have the Canal Slides directly to worry us.
We have other obstacles to overcome. You in your corner
and I in mine.
ALICE B. GILBERT!
The pronounced effect of the Malaria Fever, by a good
natured Canal Digger.
First it's a tickle,
And then it's a sneeze;
Then it's a strangle,
And then it's a wheeze.
Your throat is as raw
As an underdone ham;
You think you will die.
And you don't care a-bangl
There's a noise in your head
Like the spillway's mad roar,
From the throb and the rush,
Of your germ-laden gore.
You shake and you shiver,
Then parboil and grille;
One minute a fever,
The next one a chill.
You breathe thru your nose,
And ache like hell
From your head to your toes.
The world's upside down.
Empire, Canal Zone,
September 16, 1909.
'Tis with feelings respectful that I write you a line if
not more. I fear you think me neglectful for not having
done so before. But, honey, I've been almost dead, I'm writ-
ing now propped up in bed.
Take it from me and its the truth, it sounds mighty fine
for one to amulate Ruth. "Go where thou goest, and mine
shall be thine;" but when it comes to the pinch, I tell you,
it is no cinch-for one never knows what may happen to one's
toes. And this land which wears so soft a smile, how falseI
How full of guile!
Now just to make you laugh, I'll write my epitaph.
Here lies Martha Lucinda Reagan Goolsbey, (flat on her
back, kicking like a jumping-jack.) In the canal zone, far from
home, she came to help dig the "Ditch," by cooking, sweep.
ing and "sich" and the poor little dried up witch, fell a vic-
tim of the "Dobey Itch."
Now I know that doesn't sound aristocratic, but you know
that I'm essentially democratic.-Still this is a really, truly
great -disease, in fact, a toe-ney disease. For the "Dobey
Itch" as every one knows, is a disease which attacks the
toes-and its itch, itch, itch, till one is almost crazy-itch,
itch, itch till one is really hazy. And then its scratch,
scratell, scratch with ever waxing ire-scratch, scratch,
scratch, till they bleed and burn like fire-still its itch, itch,
itch, nothing will stop it, no-itch, itch, itch while the
minutes to decades grow, and scratch, scratch, scratch till
life seems full of woe-scratch, scratch, scratch till little is
left of the toe, but pains and aches you know.
Your uncle thought it a sin to let me suffer so, said he'd
call the Dr. in and see what he could do. He came, looking.
awfully wise-called for hot water, the toes to sterilize, and
said he "Had-orter,"-to save my life-cut the nails away;-
With his little knife. So when he pulled out the nail I let
out a wail. Oh! it hurt like-well-maybe I'd bet-
ter not tell. Anyway the pain was fierce, I'll vow. Still I'm
very comfortable just now.
A little bird woke me this morning, trying its best to
sing; but all I could hear was a moaning-"Poor thing,"
But you are wondering the why and the which-whence,
cometh the "Dobey itch." The Doctor says its caused by
mold in the shoe. I never heard of such, did you? Old
saying:-"Don't let the grass grow under your feet." The
new-See that your shoes are clean and sweet.
Although I'm "Laid up" with the "Dobey itch" they are
still digging, digging the "Ditch." And from all that I can
hear, things are running smoothly down here. When one is
killed in the race, there's another to take his place-on goes
the work and none are allowed to shirk.
I have every attention, every care; plenty to eat and
plenty to wear.
There's a maid in the kitchen eating bread and honey-
one in the yard hanging out clothes, daddy and Mary are out
making money and what Dorothy is doing the Lord only
And as for me, I'm glad I had no more toes than I had.
Now to my "Folks" rich and "poor" I send love galore,-
to my friends, young and old-good wishes manifold. And
to my enemies-poor and rich, I will the "Dobey Itch."
Your bewitching Auntie,
LUCY R. GOOLSBEY.
_~P _~E ___
_ _I ~__ _ji~a~
-- --- -- -
A BIT OF THE BLUE SEA
My husband, Dr. Darling, sailed on Feb. 21, 1905, for the
Isthmus of Panama, three days after our wedding, leaving me
a forlorn bride in N. Y. City,-there being no available quar-
ters for American women. The following October my hus-
band called me to come. I sailed on the Finance, Oct. 3, 1905.
In reaching Colon, I boarded the only train for Panama City,-
through a dense jungle of riotous tropical growth. I am sure
I felt as much depressed as Columbus felt elated in this new
found land. On my arrival in Panama, my husband and I
lunched at Hotel Central and thence to the secured quarters
at Ancon Hospital, which was one decidedly spacious room..
It had only accommodated twenty-four patients previously!
Furnishings consisted of one iron bed, boxes for dresser and
wash-stand; one three-legged chair, and a mildewed mirror
hung on the wall. No lights whatever I was fortunate in
finding a lantern on the road-side one night. With no
scruples whatever, I took it home. I feel safe in mentioning
this now, as the commission is abolished. No danger of a bill
being presented. From the very beginning the earnest Amer.
ican men and women saw and felt the need of making the
Zone habitable in order to hold the people. Churches of
many denominations were built. Sunday schools organized,
Y. M. C. A.'s built, Clubs formed, and excellent hotels built.
The best of schools were located at suitable points sufficient
to accommodate the pupils. Good streets and sidewalks in
'the hospital grounds and Panama City, a perfect sewage sys-
ter was installed, also steam laundries. The private homes
were thoroughly comfortable, and even some were built on
the lines of city apartments. The social life was very plea-
sant. The Panamanians were always smart, gracious and
At the end of ten years when Dr. Darling and I and our
three children left for our old home in Virginia, the Canal
Zone had failed to have place for research work; its sanitary
condition being so near perfect.
NANNERL L. LEWELLYN DARLING.
From 1906 to 1916.
Many and various were the comments made by members
of my family and some of them rot altogether complimentary,
when my husband left me with two small children in Ne-
braska and went to the Canal Zone in June 1905. The com-
ments changed into pleadings when seven months later he
wrote to us to come for he now had quarters. They begged
me not to be mislead into taking the children into a pest hole
like the Isthmus of Panama. However, I did as wives have
done since the beginning of time, and as some are still doing,
I bid farewell to home and kindred and followed.
The trip from Nebraska to New York in January was not
so very pleasant, though when once we reached the docks
and boarded the steamer,' I began to feel that there were
other places of interest in the world besides Sidney, Nebraska,
and Las Cascadas, C. Z.
The pretty white and gold steamer with its clean decks
and uniformed stewards, who seemed to be so busy and yet
so glad to see us all, interested me immensely.
As .we were leaning over the railing awaiting the signal
to start, the stewardess, who stood next to me said, "Now
we'll go, here comes the most important man on the line
just now." A well.clad negro was coming up the gang-
plank. "And why is he so important?" I inquired. "He brings
all official papers and we can't start until he gets here."
Next came the hoarse steamship whistle and a churning
under us and behold we were off!
Slowly at first, then faster until the Bartholdi Statue
became an indistinct, blur and then disappeared. Our hearts
and eyes then turned from looking back to looking ahead.
Around the deck we walked, seven women and eleven child-
ren all going down for the first time. Some alone like myself,
others with their husbands who had come for them.
"Sea-sick?" I heard someone ask someone else as we
Seasick! That.was something of which I had not even
thought, the word had never before held much meaning for
:me. But alas! Before evening I, too lay huddled in my birth,
too utterly miserable to care, which way the ship went, up or
down, to Halifax or Panama.
The calling of husbands became dim and distinct in the
-reeling reality in which I found myself.
The children too, were quite ill for several days.
The stewardess, after the first thirty-six hours, seemed
'heartless, "Ye must get up," she said, her kind old Irish face
quite stern, "Ye'll never be better unless ye get out on deck."
But every move I made resulted in so much misery that I
could not raise my head from the pillow. I had no courage,
mno enthusiasm, nothing it seemed to me, but stomachache.
But even days of seasickness pass, and one day, suddenly all
whirling and dizziness stopped and jumping out of bed, I
dressed and went on deck feeling as though I had never been
ill in my life. I found the steamer had stopped to put off
:some mail at Fortune Island.
With the other passengers, I leaned over the railing and
gazed at the lovely green bit of land to one side.
How cool and shady it appeared to me then Almost like
a glimpse of paradise.
Soon we were off again. Mal-de-mer did not clutch me
so hard again. When we had left New York, the weather had
been uncomfortably cold, but now each hour became uncom-
-fortably hot. Haiti, twinkling with distant lights, we passed
in the night. I thought of Toussaint L'Ouverture as we
Into the choppy Carribean Sea we steamed and then one
glorious golden afternoon, tied up at the Panama Railroad
Docks at Colon where our husbands and fathers awaited us.
After hours of standing around waiting for luggage, we en_
trained and started off across the Isthmus to our different
Ours, my husband assured me, was the best on the zone,
fine location, good house, grand view all around, but, he-
added, as the train drew nearer our destination; was not
quite finished, some repairing, etc., so we would have to live
in another house for a few days.
Darkness had fallen like a black mantle when we-
reached the little village Las Cascadas. A few steps up a.
slippery path brought us to a house. We fell in as we opened,
the door. No light anywhere, not even a match.
The darkness seemed terrifying, the few moments we&
sat on the steps alone while the "dear man" went to find a
light. All the creeping horrors I had ever heard or read of
seemed crouching around us.
At last came a light in the shape of a tiny kerosene lamp.
We entered the house and Oh, what a sight for weary tra-
vellers. A few pieces of delapidated furniture had been
shoved in just far enough to allow the door to be closed.
Small black and yellow lizards scurried across the floor and
under the partitions, bugs appearing to me as large as mice,
ran everywhere and overhead some shadowy bats fluttered
around trying to escape the rays of light.
The children tired and frightened clung to me, while
their father stood around on one foot muttering about these,
foolish people who could do nothing right.
My courage is usually pretty strong but I swallowed sev-
eral good sized lumps before I could sufficiently control my
feelings and get things straightened out so we could all re-
tire somewhere; our entire supply of Beds consisting of one
single bed and one small canvas cot.
Seemingly I had been asleep but a few moments when my
husband's voice called to me, "Come, see the Southern Cross."
Reeling with sleep, I staggered to the door and felt well re-
paid. It was two o'clock and the most brilliant constellation.
in a brilliant tropical sky hung in the southwest, just oven
the horizon, a thing of wonderous beauty.
In the morning, after the men had gone to work, my
neighbor; the only other white woman in town, called to me
to go down to the station for my ice or some one might take
I went and picked out my fifteen pounds of ice, the most
we could get, carried it home, then carried back the burlap
and string together with the tag containing our name. One of,
the trains would take them back to Cristobal, ready for the
next days' shipment.
The next thing on the program was to find something
to eat. The neighbor directed me to a place where a Spanish
vendor sold. fresh beef, but it smelled and looked so unap.
petizing that I passed it by on the other side, and bought
:some oranges, eggs and beans from a Chinaman.
Bread was for a long time, a minus quantity, for I was
afraid to buy it of the Chinese and unable to get ingredients
with which to make it.
After a number of months a commissary was granted us
making the problem of what to eat, a little easier to solve and
yet there were a great many really necessary things not to
be had at any price.
It seemed that women were not exactly wanted at first,
for they would not carry women's things in the commis-
saries for a long time and there seemed to be a general air
of Canal Digging first, and women and children are too
Within a short time, we moved into House No. 1, which
had been repaired for us. On the highest point of the
highest hill in the village. It was a fine location. From my
back door, I could see a panorama of wooded hills, and the
valleys between, the bright green broken here and there by
green of different shades, also here and there a tree covered
with golden yellow or bright purple blossoms. From my
front door I could see all the construction work going on in
that place. On one side was the labor camp swarming with
West Indians. The first night in the new house, no sooner
had night fallen then there began the weirdest, creepiest,
sing-song chanting, enough to make your flesh creep. On
inquiry, I found that someone had died in camp all the
friends would hold a wake, drinking rum and singing hymns
Our house contained only three small rooms, and kitchen
with veranda around three sides and the only way to get
from the house to any other part of the village was to walk
on the railroad track, an extremely dangerous thing to do,
because of the great number of trains constantly in motion,
also the sharp curves in the track just here. Hardly a day
passed without someone getting hurt or killed almost at my
front door. i
Across the track on the other side of town, the jungle
was being cut down,and new houses erected and almost be-
fore we realized it, these houses were occupied and we had
many neighbors. An old French house had been renovated
and arranged for a dispensary and hospital with two young
doctors and a male nurse in charge.
After a while, whether due to the demands of impera-
tive women or to a change of heart or head at headquarters,
I cannot say which, we had, first necessities and then luxu.
ries along the line of ladies furnishings. The most exquisite
hand embroidered lingerie dresses and table linens were
shown in the commissaries. The buying of such things and
fancy dishes, became an obsession with some, who bought
and bought and stored away and carried to the states, in the
course of a few months, things which would ordinarily take"
a UifP time to accumulate.
Shortly after my arrival my husband took me to see a
village dance. A big barny room crammed with negroes and
natives of every shade from pale cream to ebony black and
a small sprinkling of white men; all the dancing vulgar and
suggestive made me long to at once withdraw. "Here is where
influence makes history," thought I, "and as far as in me lies
my influence shall be for home and decency."
With the coming of more and more American women
there came a demand for a different kind of living and great-
er efficiency among servants. Men were once more drawn
toward homes and many single men began to plan for bring--
ing the Only Girl down on their leave.
Some American women fretted and worried because their
house work could not be done as it had been done at home.
TInw did most of it themselves because they could not bear
the messy negress around. Others fell easily into tropical
ways and could keep several servants busy. Both ways hav-
ing its advantages and disadvantages.
Washwomen were asked to clean the kitchen floor after
they finished the washing, which seemed to them an out-
rage. Girls who ironed were given to understand that a drop
of water would not kill them also that they must finish in
at least two or three days instead of taking a week or ten days
to do a washing.
The study of human nature in all its various phases was.
open and easy here.
Among our American women, some became leaders in
Social Works, some in Church Work, others, dear modest
patient souls, whose names will probably never be mentioned
in the annals of history, went about their home duties, get.
ting meals, tending babies,, trying to save money, and some-
times working against great odds.
The number and difference of type in the colored woman
sometimes reminded me of the rats of Hamlin Town in
Brunswick and I am afraid few of us found much that was
praise worthy among these different West Indians. They
were poor servants, indifferent mothers, and disloyal com-
panions to their men, though, of course, there were excep-
My heart has ached many a time for the little brown
mothers of the jungle; the native Panamanian women. For
the most part ignorant not married, ill-treated by their men,
their lot seemed hard indeed.
They seemed very fond of their children, and I have
found in the deepest jungle tattered school books from which
the children were being taught by some one in the family
who was fortunate enough to know how to read.
On one occasion while walking along a jungle trail look_
ing for wild flowers I heard the exhausted crying of a small
child. My feet carried me, almost before I had time to think,
to a hut on a hill, where I found in one hut a small emaciated
baby lying on a bare hard chair wailing so miserably that it
rung my heart. With tears bursting from my eyes, I picked it
up. I have never lived in a city so have never seen really
I was walking up and down the hut when the mother
came in. She laughed at the spectacle of the "Sefiora" walk-
ing and crying with her baby. I, however, gave her a good
piece of my mind which of course, she could not understand.
She had been feeding the childwith parched corn and rice and
codfish. I went home, secured beef tea, milk, clean clothes
and soap and returning, showed her how to. wash the baby,
bandage its poor little swelled abdomen, fed it with some
warm milk and made her promise to bring it to me the next
day and I would take her to our doctor.
Much to the disgust of my Jamaican servant, I let her
come into the house next day, while I washed the little one
again and bandaged it. In a few months the child was fat
and rosy and the parents embarrassed and over-whelmed me
with gifts of fruit and eggs, but I never got over the haunting
feeling that the woos were full of just such- cases, where
none of us could do any thing for them.
My woman's curiosity and eager desire to learn every-
thing that was to be learned led me often into the jungle
thought with little satisfaction as I could not get books on
the subject and very few people could tell me anything more
about the peculiar plants and bugs, than that they were a
tropical plant or bug.
Once in my wanderings, I found a Crimson Passion Flow_
er Vine in full bloom. I knew what it was from the descrip-
tion give men be dear old Mrs. Sneed who had always told
me to look out for one. I wished to know the local name, so
asked a passing negro if he knew the name of this flower.
"Ah, yes mistress," he answered, "Dat a marigold."
Early one Sunday morning, I stood on my back steps-
looking out over the Cascades and up the green wooded hills
on the other side of the Canal site and was suddenly struck
by the notion to take a tramp that way. No sooner thought
than done. Once away from the Canal I found an easy look-
ing trail. After following it for some time, my shoes clicked
upon a metalic surface on an old railroad track with iron
ties, another of the mute reminders of our predecessors.
The French. A little farther on were some small De Coville
tracks, also some cars picturesquely over grown with vines
On I wondered, getting deeper into the jungle, finding
here a lime tree, there a wild cocoa-tree, vines bearing
gourds, tall graceful amaryllis and trees bearing strange
fruits and flowers. Beautiful butterflies like animated scraps
of satin flultlerJJ before me while an occasional iguana
scooting across the trail made things excilfmg. Lured on, like
a child, by the glories around me I wandered on and on, until
it seemed I must have been out for hours and yet had no de-
sire to return.
A brown woman clad in chemise and petticoat stepped
from the bush into the path before me. On her head, she
carried an enormous sack of charcoal. She looked surprised
to see me but smiled in a friendly way. I made her under_
stand that I wished to go with her. She invited me with a
gesture to come.
"Here Is where I learn how my brown sister keeps house,"
I mentally remarked.
My clumsy feet had hard work to keep up with her easy
graceful strides and when she stepped into a clearing and
started up a steep slippery hill, I puffed and blew like a
Arriving at the top she invited me into her house (A
palm thatched roof on poles) with a gesture truly royal.
Three brown-skinned_fawn-eyed children peered at me in a
curious half frightened way, until they decided I probably
was not dangerous and looked rather hot and thirsty. One
brought ,me water in a gourd, another turned over a box for
me to sit on, while the third brought the pets for my in-
spection, a box full of baby parokeets, green as grass and
friendly enough to climb all over my arms and shoulders.
Running in and out were also a wild pig, a rabbitlike look-
ing creature and half a dozen half-starved dogs. "Well her
scrubbing and window cleaning are easily disposed of,"
thought I, "for she has neither windows, floors, walls or
doors, but I do not envy her, her way of cooking. "For all
I could see that might answer to the name of stove was a pile
of stones in one corner.
T stayed until I felt rested, then started back carrying
two parokeets, some eggs, sugar cane, a pod of wild cocoa,
and some coffee blossoms. I had seen and examined growing
yucca and rice and returned home feeling well rewarded by
the addition to my fund of knowledge.
Towns and villages were becoming populated faster than
the Commission could put up quarters. The Canal construc-
tion progressed so rapidly that the same spot would become
unrecognizable in a few hours sometimes. I went at least
once a week with my husband into the "Cut" to see just how
much more had been done. At first it was an easy matter to
just step off the bank into the cut, then it became necessary
to hunt for the path followed by the men, then there was a
tier of steps, then another added, until finally the descent
became sharp and so steep that it took considerable courage
to climb up and down the sides.
Here and there I have found a woman who was too busy
to take time to see much of the construction work but gen-
erally, the canal was the most intensely interesting thing to
all of us. The men vied with each other as to the amount
of good work each could do. I have lived, first in Las Cas-
cadas, then in Bas Obispo, later in Empire and now in Ancon.
As I look-back over the years and the changes wrought, it
seems almost like the workings of magic.
Where once were steam.shovel, trains and tracks, rock
and mud, now is a smooth sheet of water. The labor is fin-
ished and many of the laborers dead and forgotten.
Most of the town and villages have gone to dust and de-
cay. The few that are left are changed so as to be unrecog-
nizable. Where once was deepest jungle, broken occasionally
by a foot path, now we have smooth macadamized roads.
Automobiles from the finest Italian cars to the little tin
Ford, come whizzing by my door. Ladies in most fashionable
dresses and hats give most fashionable dinners, dances, bridge
parties and teas. ;*
Girls scarcely in their teens want to don party dresses'
and come out and feel insulted if asked to help about the,
Churches and school are splendidly equipped and the Y.
M. C. A. at Ancon has a flourishing ladies gymnasium class,
in charge of most genial director. Consecrated, earnest men
and women are trying to raise the standard of right living.
Men are interested in the Boy Scout Movement and Wom-
en in the Camp Fire Girls; the opportunities for a liberal
education are good, our commissaries show the latest things
in easy house keeping devises, and yet I feel sure that many
like myself feel that for the sake of our children we should
not stay here too long.
ROSE M. VAN HARDEVELD.
Late in October 1913, one night we were awakened by the
violent shaking of our bed, if fact I had the impression as I
jumped up that I had been thrown from the bed. Simultane.
ously, there was a thumping and bumping on the porch as
potted plants fell from the standards.
A few nights before my husband's watch and safety razor,
had mysteriously disappeared, so he shouted "burglars."
Seizing his K. P. Sword, the only weapon of defense we
possessed, he rushed out to the porch, a valliant knight in
I, however, felt in my innermost soul that this nocturnal
disturbance was caused by something else for no burglar in
his senses would shake people out of their beds and knock
down their plants. So I rushed to see if the children were
safe in their rooms and .then went to the windows to see if,
the Division Engineer's Office still stood intact upon the
brow of the hill. Yes there it stood. We looked at each
other questioningly. He said, "What did you think it an
earthquake?" "Well it acted like I should think an earth-
quake might." "No, indeed," scorned he, "It is the vibration
of the air hammers at the shops, they work night and day."
We retired again and slept soundly the remainder of the
In the morning we found that most of the ladies had
spent the night out doors or sitting up in the house in fear
and trembling and many a one never gave her husband ano-
ther moment's peace until he promised to resign and go
Many and various were the conjectures as to the causes
of the earthquake and not a few blamed it to the blasting
during construction. Sometime later there was another shock
in the day time. I was seated on the veranda at the time,
and suddenly felt as if a giant had firmly grasped the house
and given it a twist first to one side and then the other, and
after a few hearty shakes turned it loose for all the world
like an old style school-master admonishing a refractory boy.
Still later, there was another shock so violent in the
night and of such long duration that even we, who prided
ourselves on being so calm considered the advisability of
taking the children and getting outside of the house.
The children both times were much disappointed because
we did not awaken them to feel the earthquake.
R. M. V. H.
Domestic Relations Of Our Laborers.
Occasionally we received strong side lights on Domestic
relations among our West Indian Laborers.
It was a common occurance to see a man and woman
beating each other on the street, and on asking a bystander,
the cause of the ruction, to be told, "She gwine live wid a
nex' man, and he want she to take the children," or vice
Among the gangs that worked around the dump at the
Las Cascadas was a husky Barbadian named Sam- Sam was
a pretty good worker and the boss took an interest in him.
Once the boss asked him, "Are you married, Sam" and Sam
answered promptly, "No Sah, I not married." Not long aft-
erward, the boss was passing through the labor camp, he saw
Sam sitting on a door step with a woman and baby.
"Sam," he said pausing, "I thought you were not married.
Whose child is this?" "My son, Sir-" "And who is this
woman?" "She's the mother of the child and my concubine,
"Your concubine, hell! She is your'wife, and she ought
to beat your head in with a club when you say she isn't!"
Our government tried to better matters by requiring all
those living in government quarters to produce marriage cer.
tificates, get married or vacate.
There was a wholesale marrying for a while also
considerable getting out of government quarters.
The representative of the British government soon put
a stop to the marrying, as it was proven that many of the
marriages had conjugal partners and families in Jamaica.
The teachers told us that they often had three or four
children from the same families, yet each with a different
name, each laying claim to a different "fadder."
R. M. V. H.
Accidents and Incidents.
To the nervous and newly-arrived the shrill sharp stac-
'cato of the steam shovel whistles which preceded a dyna-
mile blast, was a signal for a few moments of nerve racking
suspense until the shot went off and the rattle of the sprink-
ling roeks upon the zinc roof had died away. Occasionally
the rocks did more than just rattle on the roof. Mrs. Moore,
wife of a steam hovel man, was in her kitchen washing her
dishes when to her utter consternation a rock crashed
through the roof into her dishpan, breaking the glass she.was.
The back of my sewing machine was smashed in by a
flying rock which burst through the screen. We were all
.supposed to be sufficiently well informed to know when the
shovel shrieked its warning, we must seek the safest place
possible, but as a usual familiarity breeds contempt, and so
sometimes through our own carelessness we would find
ourselves without protection amidst a shower of hurling
.stones and flying sticks, though I never heard of anyone who
got hurt in that way.
Sometimes we received other surprises. One evening
Mrs. Grobe, an engineers wife at Bas Obispo, lifted her baby
girl, to place her in her high chair, and found herself gazing
terrorstricken at a brown serpent coiled tightly about the
arrs and rungs of the chairs.
Accidents were so frequent that whenever the good man
of the house was delayed beyond the hour of quitting one's
uneasiness became acute. There always was an under cur-
rent of unrest and temporariness. Not a few women have
given their husband breakfast and sent them to work and
when next they saw him was through the glass top of a
metalic coffin, where his mangled body had been fixed as
well as the kind hearted friendsanddoct ors could do it, so
that she might never know how badly he was crushed.
One of the saddest of these cases was that of a young
man, who after working a few years, went to considerable
trouble to bring his widowed mother and growing sisters
down here where he might have them near him. Unmarried
men were not supposed to have family quarters, but he fin-
ally succeeded in pursuading the authorities to let him have
a house in Las Cascadas one that everybody else turned down.
In it he installed his family, and he and a brother worked
with renewed courage providing for present needs and also
laying up a little for the proverbial rainy day. The girls
went to school in Empire. At noon one day as they left the
train to go home to lunch someone said to one of them,
"Your brother has just been taken to Ancon badly hurt."
Fearfully they climbed the hill to find their mother anxiously
wondering why Charley did not come to dinner. Neighbors
came to break the news, and help the stricken ones get the
next train to Ancon.
The trembling limbs of the mother could hardly support
her as she reached the ward only to find he had breathed
his last a few minutes before. Gentle hands lined his coffin
with silk. Friendly ones placed around him and above him
the most beautiful flowers. An eloquent man praised him
in a touching eulogy.
His casket enclosed in a rough box was accompanied by
a single friend across the Isthmus, who watched it as it was
placed on the steamer and he said, "Had the deceased been a
personal friend of everyone who handled the coffin, they
could not have been more gentle or careful.
Sadly he saw the steamer glide away until it was out of
sight, carrying home to be interred the remains of a friend
who was a true son and brother who was loyal and whose
young manly life was laid down to our beloved canal.
R. M. V. H.
Repetition of Damon and Pythias on the Canal Zone.
Damon and Pythias, pals all their lives,
Chummed like two brothers
And cared for no others
-Excepting the girls that they chose for their wives.
Damon would fight at the drop of the hat
If someone called Pythias this name or that;
Pythias once poked a dude on the nose
For slurring remarks about Damon's red hose.
Damon once heard some old codger or other
Saying that Pythias owed his big brother.
And that same old codger was sorry he said it
Or anything else about Pythias's. credit.
Yes, Damon and Pythias lived in twin hives,
But their wives?
No, not on their lives!
Was It So With Their Wives? Did They Get On Together?
No, not on their lives!
These two little wives.
Instead of smooth sailing in all sorts of weather,
Instead of each thinking the other divine,
Agreed like two tomcats hung over a line-
Mrs. Damon was coarse, Mrs. Pythias said,
Chock full of deceit from her toes to her head,
Mrs. Pythias drank till it made her nose pink-
Mrs. Damon could prove it-she saw her friend drink!
And once when the ladies were playing draw poker,
She saw Mrs. Pythias palming the joker.
MRS. ERNEST VON MUNCHOW.
SOME OF MY EXPERIENCES ON THE ISTHMUS OF
On October 10, 1903, my husband and I landed at Colon
from the Philippines, by the way of Europe. It was with a
sigh of relief that we bid goodby to the old Spanish liner
and put our feet once more on terra-firma, for it had been
a long and tiresome journey. At the wharf we met the usual
crowd of idlers watching the arrival of steamers from for-
eign parts, also one or two rickety coaches on the lookout
for a possible fare. Of hotels, there were several in Colon,
where fairly good accommodation could be had at one peso a
day. This statement may seem incredible, considering the.
high prices charged later on, but a peso was big money those
days, and living extremely cheap; native products had little
or no value, as the purchasing power of the people was at
a low ebb.
Colon at that time was not what it might be called today,
a health resort, on the contrary, it was a fever stricken,-
swampy and mosquito ridden spot, without any sanitary ar-
rangements whatever. The streets were in keeping with
health conditions, full of innumerable holes, a menace to
strangers who ventured out into the dark streets at night.
Business also was at a standstill, and after a couple of weeks
stay in the windy city, Mr. Wirz and I decided to cross the
Isthmus to Panama.
That trip of 47 miles was a momentous affair those days,
on account of the high passenger rates charged by the P. R.
R. Ist. Class: $10.00 and 2nd. Class $5.00, U. S. C. one way.
Naturally, the majority of the Colonile! know Panama only
from hearsay, and with the exception of a gambler, we had
the car, if not the whole train to ourselves. Charges on lug-
gage were also excessive. For something over 1,300 Ibs. we
paid about $42.00, U. S. C. from Colon to Panama, and only
gold coin or greenbacks' were wanted, indeed, my husband
had some trouble getting the R. R. officials to accept Ameri.
can silvdt dollars. Each passenger train carried a policeman,
and part of his duty was to question strangers as to their
names, nationality, where from, their destination and in-
scribe same in a large book kept for that purpose.
The trip across the Isthmus was very pleasant owing to
the many hamlets at everyone of which the train stopped.
A number of the little houses had the appearance of -having
been abandoned in a hurry, maybe yellow fever had made its
visitation, and none dared to touch the effects remaining be-
hind. After hours of slow traveling, we arrived at Panama
where a greater disappointment than even at Colon awaited
On leaving the old station, a most desolate aspect met our
sight. As far as the eye could reach, only clusters of dilapi-
dated shacks could be seen. Indeed, down to nearly Santa
Ana Park, there was no business to speak of. There were
two or three hotels, the Central being the best, as well as
the largest. Furnished rooms to let was something unknown,
Houses for small families were also difficult to obtain, al-
though unfurnished rooms could be had at $5.00, silver a
month in the old Concordia Building where Americans after-
ward paid as high as $25.00 and $30.00, gold a month.
Strangers attracted considerable attention, especially
ladies, as very few came to these shores after the failure of
the French to build the Canal. The country had just emerged
from a revolution and business was in a bad way. As for us,
we had read in the far off Philippines that the American
Government was going to build the Panama Canal, and my
husband intended to be one of the canal diggers, and with this
object in view, we undertook the long journey, however, as
we were ahead of time we started a second-hand furniture
shop, this being something unique then in Panama, and
later, when the Americans arrived, we added a Real Estate
and Employment office, and assisted not a -few early canal
employees to find board and lodging, for none of them were
overburdened with cash.
I must not forget to mention that, shortly after our ar-
rival at Panama, I was taken with a very severe attack of ma.
laria. I had passed safely through several epidemics of plague
in China and India as well as cholera in the Philippines, with
people dying all around us, and here at last malaria got the
best of me. What aggravated my case not a little was the
fact that, the rainy season had set in, and the only small
house we had been able to find was situated in the most un.
sanitary part of the city, near the slaughter house, the street
in front of our shack was under water, inside, the rain leaked
through the roof so that barely a dry spot could be found
to place the bed, and under such conditions, I laid for three
months as weak as a child, with my husband as doctor, nurse
and attendant. Ancon Hospital was not then what it became
later, and Santo Tomas Hospital was worse. Anyhow, I had
no wish to' try either, for all my life, I have had a dislike for
hospitals, and to this day, I have not been in one a's a patient.
In May 1904, when the first Canal Officials and some few
employees arrived, the Sanitary Department began operations
by gathering all the diseased women from along the line and
Panama, and horded them together in Wards 11-12 Ancon.
American women were not wanted. Indeed, it was only after
interviewing different high officials that, I gained admission
for the first American, a Mrs. Williams, who was in destitute
circumstances and she was put in a small room in Ward 12
in care of a colored nurse.
The first Canal Zone Governor, General Davis, was op-
posed to the presence of American women on the Isthmus.
The men were going to build the Canal, he said, not the
women. But soon it was found that the married men would
not stay for any length of time, without their wives and
families, and as they were more to be depended upon than
the single ones, the authorities decided to overhaul the old
French houses and make them as comfortable as possible
under the circumstances for the families who wished to come
down, and also granted them special steamship rates. Those
whose duty kept them in Panama, had to rent quarters and
pay the price, some few favored one's received a certain per-
centage above their salaries towards paying their rent, until
such time as the I. C. C. was ready to provide them with
quarters at Ancon. On the line also no time was lost in
erecting houses for employees, and gradually sprang into
existence those lovely towns we all rememiiber so well, and
the: disappearance of which we all regret.
In the fall of 1904, my husband gave up business and
startedin the employ pf the I. C. C. For some months, he was
stationed at Empire ,and boarded, in company with some
other Americans, at the house of a native woman, for 20
pesos a month,, such as it was, and that was the best Empire
had to offer.then. ,After a while, I joined my husband and
we lived in one of the old French cottages on the hillside,
furnishing it ourselves. Empire was a ramshackle town
those days, there was not much more than one long grass
grown..street, with the railroad tracks in the center. It
boasted of a few poorly provisioned Chinese shops, a Chinese
baker shop, a native butchershop and a Chinese vegetable
garden. One had to take frequent trips to Panama in order
to replenish one's larder. In the rainy season living at Em-
pire was anything but agreeable. What with the lack of
roads and the red clayish soil sticking to one's shoes, it was
very difficult to go anywhere at all. Ticks, chickers and
mosquitoes also had to be reckoned with. Those who know
only the well laid out towns, up to date, comfortable houses
on the line, can form no idea of the many hardships the
-early canal diggers and their families had to put up with,
and I think not a few good men would have thrown up their
jobs in disgust had it not been for their helpmates, who
were always ready to encourage them to renewed efforts, to
share their daily trials, and to make there homes as pleasant
as possible under the circumstance.
In the spring of 1905, we returned to Panama, where we
established a permanent home. My husband worked for a
couple of years in the Department of Municipal Engineer,
and during that time yellow fever claimed not a few victims,
among the Americans, one of them an old friend of ours,
having been cholera inspector like my husband, during the
epidemic in Manila in 1902. The Sanitary Department used
to fumigate all the houses in Panama very frequently, they
would close every opening, every crack in and outside with
paper so that no fumes could escape and rooms would re-
main hermetically closed for hours. Much grumbling could
he heardon.account of the damage the sulphur did to mir-
rors and other, articles. After a time yellow fever abated
and people were I'eft in peacefilil possession of their homes.
'I WAS BORN ON THE CANAL ZONE".
Before the installation of water and sewers by the American
*Government; those who had no. tanks in which to catch rain
water, had to patronize the water wagons, and we paid as
high as 15cts. gold for a 5 gallon tin of water. Some of the
Italian water vendors did so well in this business that they
were able to return to their former homes in Italy as wealthy
In regards to decent places of amusement, there were
absolutely none on the Isthmus. Of cantinas, there were
enough to spare. Indeed, about every other door on Central
Avenue from the Railroad Station to Santa Ana Park, was a
cantina, mostly conducted by disreputable women, beckoning
the men to enter, and doing their very best to relieve them
of their ready cash. Gambling houses were run openly.
In 1908, when the Department of Municipal Engineers
reduced its force, my husband went to work at Miraflores,
and afterwards at Pedro Miguel in the department of Locks
and Dams. Every morning, I used to rise at 4:20 to prepare
his breakfast, so that he should be in time for the first labor
train. Often he would come home late at night, covered with
mud especially in the rainy season, for the-foremen had no
regular hours, they worked early and late, Sundays and holi-
days, without extra compensation. Those were anxious days.
Whenever he did not return on the 6 o'clock labor train, I
was in fear that something had happened to him, as train
accidents and explosions occurred frequently those days, un_
til on January 25, 1913, the blow fell. Due to the carelessness
of the conductor of the dirt train, in not waiting for the fore-
man's signal to start, my husband had his right foot so badly
crushed that it had to be amputated. After months spent in
the hospital, he returned home as a cripple, and the I. C. C.
having paid him a year's salary, in monthly installments, had
no more use for him. What is to become of the canal crip-
ples, God only knows. No doubt, many of them are begging
,in the streets of the big cities, in God's country. Who is to
educate their children? These are serious questions the
American Government will have to consider sooner or later.
My husband is at present in the Real Estate business with of-
fice and residence at 67 Calidonia Road, Panama.
MRS. CHAS. C. J. WIRZ.
The beginnings on the Isthmus of work of a religious
nature have a somewhat thrilling interest in retrospect for
great obstacles had to be overcome in any efforts to promote-
the furtherance of the King's business. Inertia, indifference,
be more prevalent and harder to combat in the tropics than
It is refreshing to find in the midst of this general con-
dition, groups of women here and there who started socie-
ties for Christian work on the Isthmus. It is of one such
little group and what grew out of it and the work connected
with it that I purpose to write.
In January 1911, a society was organized in Empire,
known as the Ladies Auxiliary to the Empire Christian
League. The constitution of the Society thus states its ob.
ject: to assist the League in Christian work, promote socia-
bility, carry on mission study and to further mission work
on the Canal Zone. Of course, the organization of this little
society does not mark the beginnings of religious work in the
Empire. Previous to this the Christian League had been or-
ganized and before that the Y. M. C. A., with Mr. McTyier as
one of its notable superintendents had done noble work. But,
as we are concerning ourselves mainly with women and their
work we mention only in passing that Chaplin Sobey was one
of the pioneers in Empire Christian work and also state that
the Christian Leagues of the Isthmian towns formed the
nucleus of what is now the Union Church of the Canal Zone.
Of the fifteen charter members of the auxiliary, six,
namely, Mrs. Beck, Mrs. Butler, Mrs. Calligan, Mrs. Glaw, Mrs.
Helmer and Mrs. Kelly are still on the Isthmus. Among those
now in the states may be mentioned, Mrs. Nellis, Mrs. Peak
and Mrs. Warwick. Mrs. Nellis is the wife of Reverend Nellis,
one of the Isthmus Canal Commission Chaplains, who for
about two years, preached every Sunday morning at Empire.
Those of us who knew him well still follow with interest his
career as in the states he preaches the Word, and also gives
illustrated lectures of the Panama Canal, no doubt telling his
hearers there in his inimitable way of the portable house in
which he lived while on the Isthmus and which he declared
was built to conserve heat, a feature scarcely commending
itself to Canal Zone residents. This house and the subse-
quent more comfortable one later occupied by his family
while in Empire were made charming by the skill and per-
sonality of Mrs. Nellis.
The first officers of the Auxiliary were: President, Mrs.
Philip Kelly, Vice President, Mrs. R. W. Glaw, Secretary_
treasurer, Mrs. Peak. Those familiar with the history of the
Empire Christian League and of the Auxiliary thereto, rea-
lize that this society carried out faithfully its mission. Very
interesting meetings were held, the text-book, "Western wo-
men in Eastern lands" being first studied. Aprons were made
and sold. Dishes and table linen were brought for use in the
chapel, also cooking utensils for the kitchen. The chapel was
decorated, socials were held, and money was given for mis-
sionary work on the Canal Zone.
At Empire on October 25, 1912, a missionary Convention
was held, this being the first convention of women engaged
in Christian work ever held on the Isthmus. The ladies of
the Auxiliary were hostesses. Out of this grew the present
existing Federation of Societies of Women for Christian
Work, which has now ten societies enrolled and which meets
In June, 1914, the question "To be or not to be" con-
fronted this society. As Empire was being abandoned by civ-
ilians, owing to the offices having been moved to Balboa, and
as there was no longer an Empire Christian League, this
having merged into the larger work of the Union Church of
the Canal Zone, the society could not longer exist as an
Empire Auxiliary. It was decided to reorganize as a general
missionary auxiliary to the Union Church. Two interesting
meetings were held in Empire at the homes of members after
which the meetings were held at Balboa, first at the Y. M. C.
A. and later at the Chapel.
In October, 1914, when the missionary auxiliary to the
Union Church met at Balboa the work of the Balboa Union
Church was just getting under way and something in the
nature of an aid society was much needed. A combination
of missionary auxiliary thought it best to continue a separ-
ate existence. An aid society was therefore organized at
this time and both societies continued until December 1915
when they merged into one society, called the Women's Aux-
iliary to the Balboa Union Church.
While its object was namely mission study and not the
raising of money, nevertheless the missionary auxiliary gave
during the five years of its existence about three hundred
dollars to home and foreign missionary work, besides helping
largely to pay the expenses of the League. It gave a hundred
dollars for parsonage furniture.
The Aid in its year of separate existence have also a
successful career financially. It contributed seventy.five
dollars to parsonage furniture and two-hundred dollars to
the church building fund. The combined Society is paying
the tuition of a child in school, and helping the work of the
church and has contributed to charities both here and in the
There are women's Auxiliaries to the Union Church organ_
ized at Cristobal, Gatun, Pedro Miguel, and Paraiso but others
more familiar with their work may perhaps write concerning
them. There is a great work to be done in connection with
the Union Church work all over the Isthmus. The plan of
the Union Church includes definite Missionary work on the
part of the church as an organization. The Duplex Envelope
is used, having a compartment for church expenses and one
for Missionary work. As practically all the members of the
church contribute by envelope to mission work, naturally
our women's societies do not contribute so largely as other-
wise they would. But we plan to give something in addition
to our regular church offerings, and believe that in our
woman's way we cannot only help our own church in its local
work and its Mission work, but find a little to spare for needs
both near and far.
MRS. H. A. A. SMITH,
Ancon, Canal 'Zone
Union Church Beginnings.
I remember, shortly after coming to Culebra nearly
nine years ago, saying to a friend that I felt utterly at a
loss with no church or prayer meeting, no missionary Socie-
ty or Ladies Aid, "Well," was the reply, "If you feel that
way now, you should have come when I did. We had no
Sunday or Church, no roads, no walks, no club house, no
entertainments. I, who did not care for the attraction of
Panama or Colon, spent many a Sabbath pacing the six by
fifteen foot porch which fronted the little old French cot-
tage, where I was quartered and longed for Monday morn-
ing when I could go to work."
Months passed, and more Americans came bringing fam-
ilies. Here and there consecrated Christians would get to.
gether in any available place, gather in the children, study
the Sunday School lesson and sing the hymns of the home-
land, strangers, in a strange country.
Then came Clubhouses and Chapels; and in a short time,
Cristobal, Empire, and even the smallest of our settlements
had stirring Sunday Schools, with now and then a preaching
service, conducted by some of the Mission workers scattered
across the Isthmus. At Culebra, Rev. Loveridge of the Bap_
tist, and Arch'Deacon Bryan of the Episcopal Churches, held
the most regular services; while Rev. Sobey and Rev. Wise
of the Boptist Mission, Rev. Elkins and Rev. Gray from Sea_
wall in Panama. Some of the Y. M. C. A. Secretaries, and
sometimes a layman, would give us a sermon or talk. Thus,
not infrequently, we had a Sabbath service in addition to
Helpful as this was, it was not enough. Communities
were growing larger, and while our Catholic and Episcopal
friends had both churches and ministers, the many Protes-
tant Christians from almost every known denomination, had
neither church services nor pastoral care. And there were
so few of any one particular creed, that denominational work
was impossible. So, in June, I believe, 1908, a committee of
five men met at Mr. McLoughlin's to discuss the needs and
possibilities. It was decided to consult Col. Goethals first,
and then to call a congregational meeting.
Col. Goethals promised transportation, Commissary and
house privileges; also a Chaplin's salary if the people could
find a man to take up Union Christian work. The outcome
of many consultations and meetings was the organization of
the Union Christian League of Culebra with about fifty char-
ter members, from, as I remember, about nineteen denomina-
tions, and the calling of Rev. John Wesley Holland as Pastor.
The choice was a happy one. And though Mr. Holland
only remained a year the work prospered and leagues were
formed at other stations. After Mr. Holland left, the Empire-
Culebra Chapels called Rev. Nellis, Cristobal had Rev. C. H.
Elliott and Rev. Purdy-was in charge at Gatun. The minis-
ters preached as often as possible at the smaller stations, and
later for the soldiers camps of the earlier day. Mr. Elliott's
work among the Chinese in Colon must certainly be men-
tioned. In spite of his church, Sunday School and pastoral
work at Cristobal, and Las Cascadas and occasionally Corozal,
he still found time and strength for two or more evenings a
week with a class of young Chinese men from Colon. Not
until after Mr. Elliott's leaving did any of these come into
the Church; but had it not been for his teaching and labor,
the young men and their families who have since joined the
Cristobal Church would not have been reached and helped.
Amid the shifting of the next few years, these Chaplins
remained, until late in the Fall of 1913, when the Government
withdrew its aid and the whole burden came 6n to the local
organizations. The Chaplins returned to the State and with.
in a short time of each other, many of our strongest church
workers left about the same time and the prospect was dark
for union Christian work in Panama.
But the loyal remnant gather at Corozal in December
1913, to see what could be done. On January 25th, 1914,
the Union Church of the Canal Zone was organized with Mr.
H. A. A. Smith, President and Mr. W. H. Kromer Secretary
and Treasurer. These gentlemen with representations from
each local church, constitute the executive council of the
Union Church. Each Church is self-governing as to local
affairs, paying into the central treasury whatever it is able
to raise for church expenses. From this treasury all sala.
ries and obligations are met and we have no such thing as
a church debt. Indeed we've a fund of several thousand dol-
lars for our permanent buildings.
For nearly two years, Rev. Wm. Flammer has preached
mostly for the churches at the south end of the Canal, and
for a year Rev. Jacob Koontz has been in charge at the north
end,. Now we are to have three pastors, '.One for Cristobal
and Gatun, one at Paraiso and Pedro Miguel, and one ati-
Balboa and Ancon. We have about 400 members with Sun.:
day Schools ranging from 30 to over 400 membership. We
have Young Peoples' Christian Endeavor Societies, Ladies
Aids and Missionary Societies. We are learning that the;
"Things upon which we agree ,are mightier than those oil
which we differ," ::
In so very sketchy an account as this must of necessity
be, it is scarcely possible to mention any names without
omitting so many, one feels reluctant. Still-as I think back
-the faces and homes of some, who labored so faithfully and
efficiently in this new, untried field of Union Work, stand out
so clearly, you will pardon, I am sore, if I mention a few
names. There were Mrs. Sibert and Mrs. Stokoe, Mrs. War-
ner and Mrs. Ramsey, Mrs. Dickie and Mrs. Braduey. Mrs.
Stuntz and Mrs. Brown, Mrs. Elliott and Mrs. Har-
rison. It is a comfort to know that not' only these,
but the many more who helped in greater or less degree will
all be found written in the book of rememberances when
the Lord makes up his Jewels.
MARIBEL BLANCHARD WEAVER.
A Partial History Of Empire Catholic Church and a Tribute
To Some Faithful workers.
St. Ferdinand's Catholic Church at Empire, C. Z. was
built by the first French Canal Company, and had the dis-
tinction of being the only church built there by the French,
and was the only church there until the American occupa-
tion. During the early French days there was a very large
congregation, the majority being West Indians, from the
Islands of Martinique and St. Lucia. Madame Ferdinand
Job, a native of St. Lucia, was the faithful Sacristan, for
more than 30 years, up to November 1914 when Empire was
turned ovei to the Army. And when there was no priest to
minister to the people, which happened often, this faithful
soul would climb the stairs, seize the clapper of the church
bell which is fastened to an iron bar and the railing of the
steps, and call. the people to prayers, and many a soul she
kept from going astray. :Due: to- the':awful death rate from
yellow fever and other causes at that ime, there were many
orphans, these she kept with her own money, taught them
their prayers and how to help themselves. It was very hard
work for her until the latter part of 1908, when a French
Priest, the saintly Father Ferdinand Allot, C. M. of the St.
Vincent de Paul Order of Paris came to Empire. (The coin-
cidence of the three Ferdinand's was often commented on.)
The first few weeks Father Allot lived in the mission house
.at Panama, (as had all the priests who had ministered to the
"faithful previously,); he soon saw that in order to do real
work he would have to live at Empire. So-for some time ne
slept in the Sacristy, then the Isthmian Canal Commission
gave him one of the portable cottages near the church and
in which he lived until July, 1911, when he moved into
the house just across from the church which he purchased
from the "Commission." It had been used by the Quarter-
masters Department as a paint shop. It being a large house
it was well adapted t6 the use that was made of it, after the
alterations and renovation. At one end three rooms were
screened off from the main part of the building, with ver-
anda and bath, for the use of Father Allot, his assistant
(which he did not get until 1913) and one for visiting priests,
The other end contained a storeroom, dining room, kitchen
and servants' room, and in the center was the large as-
sembly room large enough to seat 200 people, in the center
front, were two reception rooms, one for Americans and one
for West Indians. The assembly room was furnished with
tables, chairs, and piano, there were also books and maga-
zines and music, free to all who cared to use them, whether
they belonged to the church or not. Downstairs' there was
a large stage, fitted with a drop curtain, footlights, dressing
rooms, and a large hall. At the time Father Allot came to
Empire, there were very few of the "Faith" attending church
Americans as well as West Indians, while there were never
very many American Catholics, the per centage accordingly
was just as poor in attendance. It'was so easy to go to
Panama ,and have a good time. One reason for this care-
lessness was, that many times, when the people got to
church, there was no Mass, as no Priest came to'say Mass.
But with the coming of Father Allot all this was changed,
and it did not take long for the news to spread, that (here
would be Mass every Sunday morning, from that time until
Empire was turned into a "Military Camp;" there were ser-
-vices every Friday 'and. Sunday night, as well as Mass every
morning- The congregation grew from about 50 to more
than 800 adults, besides the children of which there were
a great many West Indians, not very many Americans. Father
Allot had some of the Sisters of Charity of Colon and Pana-
ma who came every Sunday toteach the children Catechism.
When the classes got too large some of the American ladies
and young men helped, and Father Allot never failed to have
a talk with the children, nor did he forget that human nature
needed some material pleasure. He organized the different
Church Societies of men and women, young and old; also
the children and helped them with their "Feasts" as they
termed them. He was never too tired to listen to any of
them, in this way he got them acquainted, and they were all
like one large family. All this meant very hard work and
patience, for these simple people make many demands on
their Pastor. Americans and West Indians came from all
the surrounding villages, even from Culebra and Las Cas-
cadas where there were priests and churches. The Ameri-
cans too had their Societies and worked harmoniously to.
gether. When the 10th. Infantry first came down there was
no priest at Las Cascadas nor did they have a Chaplain. A
few came to church, the most went to Panama and its
'Questionable Pleasures," as pleasure was what they wanted.
So Father Allot asked the few who came to Church to bring
all who would come, irrespective of creed, to the Parish
House and make themselves at home, which they gladly did.
The American Ladies Altar Society did all they could to make
it pleasant for them, in every way, good things to eat, etc.
How Father Allot ever got around to look after his "Flock"
was a mystery, he did the work of 6 men. Once every week
for 5 years he went to Palo Seco, the Leper Asylum; twice a
month he walked 14 miles each way from Empire to Paja,
a native Indian village, once a month to Arrajan, another
Indian village nearly 20 miles from Empire, it was the only
time these poor natives ever saw a Priest or had any spiritual
advice. A few who were able to come to Church came occa-
sionally, but the old and feeble could not. When in Novem-
ber 1914, Empire was turned over to the Army, the Parish
House was turned into the Post Hospital, the Army having
purchased it from Father Allot.
The old French Church still stands, its stationary bell
in its accustomed place. Father .Rochefud, Chaplain of the
10th Infantry, says Mass .there every Sunday morning as
well as'in the Church at Las Cascadas. The grounds do not
show now what a beautiful spot it was during Father Allot's
time ~for he'tended his flowers with the same loving care he'
bestowed on "His People" as he always called the West In-"
dians, no wonder it was beautiful. And the beautiful life size
bronze statue -(painted white so it could be seen from the
train) of "The Blessed Mother" still stands in her accustomed
place beside the Church steps, arms outstretched for her .
children to come to them. A beautiful memorial to the be-
loved Father Allot, who brought it in the early part of 1909
from his beloved home, France, and who passed to his re-'
ward, September 10th, 1916 after 2 days illness in Guayaquil,,
"Ecuador, where he was sent when he left Empire in 1914.
MRS.JOHN E. WESTBERG..
A member of the Church a short time before and during all
of Father Allot's time.
Women of th'e Episcopal Church.
When I was asked to tell something about the women in
the early days of the establishing of the Episcopal church
on the Canal Zone, the Editors of this book said, "Perhaps
everything was so easy for you that you did not have any
trouble." That set me to wondering if that was the case, and
I can say both "Yes" and "No." Easy it was, because of the
enthusiasm of the women and the devotion of their rec-
tor, the Yen. Henry B. Bryan, archdeacon of Panama, and
difficult because, as far as Ancon is concerned, there was
practically nothing to begin on.
I came here in August 1907 and I was told that the ser.
vices of the Episcopal church were held one Sunday in the
month in the bachelor's quarters at Ancon Hospital. So, on
the first Sunday after my arrival up the long hill I toiled
with one other in time for a 10 o'clock service. Apparently
the good rector, an Anglican clergyman, had forgotten the
date, for on that third Sunday morning, he did not appear.
I met, however, Colonel and Mrs. Gorgas and a-small group
of people With whom I was afterward to be intimately asso-
ciated in the church work.
It was less than a month later that the arrival of Arch-
deacon Bryan was announced. The day that he arrived I
'alled on him at the Hotel Tivoli. He had gone up to the
'hospital grounds and I followed him there. Here, as I sought
'him, I met Mrs. Gorgas and we walked on talking about the
prospects of the church and our joy in having it. Then we
met the Archdeacon. I can see him now driving down the
long hill in his wide little buggy, so like a country parsoi's,
with Vixen, the old mare, and Michael, his devoted old ser-
:vant holding the reins. We called to him and then and
there put our hands in his, -and the work of the church, as
far as the women were concerned, was begun.
The chapel then consisted of one room; there was a
long awkward altar, a prayer desk, the same that is now
used in St. Luke's Chapel, and 'a wooden lectern on which
was a drab hanging adorned with a row of tarnished tinsel
fringe and a paper cross.
At the close of the first service ,the Archdeacon called
together the women of the church for the purpose of dis-
cussing the formation of an Altar Guild. This was done
on the following day. There are two charter members of
the .Altar Guild now on the Isthmus. That was our begin-
"ning in Ancon. The Sunday school was soon established
with the Archdeacon as head and in accordance with a re.
quest for transportation for the children a brake met the
train arriving at 9 o'clock to take the children from the line,
there were several then, and others who wished to attend
the Episcopal church, or the little Roman Catholic church in
the hospital grounds just below us. Our first care was, of
course, to furnish the chapel suitably. We were fortunate
in having as one of our members a woman who had studied
eccleciastic embroidery, and we soon raised the money-I
forget how,- by a cake sale or something-money was easy
to get in those days-for our hangings. Never shall I forget
one- Ash Wednesday morning when we were arranging the
church for the service the Archdeacon came in, and when
he saw the rich purple with.its simple cross of white on
each article, the heavy dossals hanging at sides of the altar,
he exclaimed "Ah, now you have something ecclesiastic!"
The Christmas after this first beginning we were in the
chapel which bears the name of St. Luke, the Beloved Phy-
sician. The chapel is perfectly equipped for the services
through the faithful work of that band of loyal devoted
women and their leader. The furnishings and articles for
the proper conduct of. the services were, of course, slow in
getting. The Font was an Easter gift of the Guild; the
Altar vasep and Cross a memorial gift from one of the nurses
in Ancon Hospital: the Litany Desk was anothi'r gift. as was
memorial window was placed in the chapel by the congre-
gation to the memory of those who lost their lives during
tle construction of the Panama Canal. The beautiful Tif-
fany Communion silver was an Easter gift of t!ih Allir Guild.
The organ was purchased by subscription, and money raised
by the Guild in various ways. This chapel is a monument to
Archdeacon Bryan whose untiring, faithful devotion to his
people can never be forgotten, and to the women of those
early days, who with the loyal co-operation of the men of
the church, made the furnishing of the work possible.
As an organization, St. Luke's Guild was the second soci-
ety of women to be organized in Ancon and the first to hold
public conimunly meetings, a memorable one being a parish
meeting at the Hotel Tivoli. It was the organization through
which the philanthropy of the women flowed, and one of
the most powerful means whereby the social life of the
community was established.
Women of the church in Empire raised money to erect
,a little chapel, St. Mary's and the corner stone laying of
which was one of the most dignified occasions of the life
of the village.
Christ Church on Colon Beach, the official church of
fthe Panama railroad, which had been standing since the
middle of the last century, had already a large' congregation
of West Indians. A church was established in Cris_
tobal for white congregation, but later it was absorbed into
Christ Church which has had for several years a guild
which, with few members, has done a great deal of import-
ant work. The beautiful altar of white limestones is a gift
,of this guild, the pipe organ, one of the largest in the Zone,
was purchased partly by subscriptions of the West Indiani
people and partly by the money raised by the women of the
guild, and much of the interior remodelling of the church
was paid for by the guild.
, No story of the Episcopal Church in the Canal Zone
would be complete with telling of-those first, earliest days
when the nurses of Ancon hospital, following the example of
the Sisters of St. Paul, the Sisters of Charity in charge dur-
ing the French occupation established their own church.
ON THE BAYANO RIVER.
These nurses, wllh Colonel, now General, and Mrs. Gorgas
and the doctors and interns of the hospital, used to hold
service every Sunday morning. Colonel Gorgas being the lay
reader. They tell of the .iurlchjse of the little organ, now
in St. Like's chapel, and the excitement among them when it
"We gathered to watch the unpacking," Miss Murdoch
said, "'with breathless excitement. Never shall I forget our
disappointment when we found that there was no key. We
could not wail for a locksmith, so one of the doctors forced
the lock and, Mrs. Gorgas playing, we practically 'sang an
hymn and went into the Mount of Olives.' It was one of-our
wonderful days of the old period."
J. MACKLIN BEATTIE.
Experiences Of Early Days On The Isthmus.
As I had quite a number of experiences on the Isthmus
in the early days, will only try to tell of the few I experi-
enced when the schools were first organized by Prof. D. C.
O'Connor in 1906.
On the morning of April 4th I was told to take charge of
a school to be organized in Las Cascadas and was accom-
panied by Herman Gudger, he being clerk in the educational
department under Colonel Cooke at that time. On arriving
there at 8:10 a.m. with books, etc., we found a bare room
24x36, not even a black board installed but about 26 pupils
of all sizes and colors waiting for us. Some accompanied
by their parents and some by grandparents. Each one had
some advise to give concerning the discipline of their child.
ren and even furnished the straps to lash them with. I told
each child after enrollment to bring a bottle of water and a
box to sit on when they returned in the afternoon, as there
were no desks or chairs and for three weeks most of them
sat on the floor, and I used a large slate for a black board.
There were only three American families in Las Cascadas
at that time and one of the ladies kindly loaned me a chair
and table for the teacher's desk.
I remained governess, as I was called by the pupils, for
six weeks at which time my books showed a daily attendance
"ofi 19.:.Yohu'can iniagine 'what 119 children of all national-
-'ities were :t control, and some of the straps were very use-
S:My daily plea to the head of my department was for
'desks always receiving the reply that they had been shipped
weeks before, and one day on the arrival of the labor train
Supt. D'Connor appeared on the scene and we dismissed
school and went on an investigating tour and in, the freight
,yards of Las Cascadas and White-House I found the long
lost desks packed in boxes exposed to the weather and in a
very deplorable condition, but better than nothing. So we
had them installed as quickly as the building department
saw that they needed some overtime work and about that
time the roof began to leak and I also had to report that.
And if any one wants to develop their lungs just let them
try to instruct a class in Geography with six or seven men
pounding on a sheet iron roof over their head and a few
more on screens at the windows.
I was living across the street from the American Lega-
'tion on Central Avenue in Panama City at the time and on
leaving my quarters in the morning would cover my bed with
an oil cloth and umbrellas for it was always raining in those
days and of course the roof leaked and there were no avail-
able quarters on the Zone or in Panama. We were assigned
a tent and I think we would have been more comfort-
able in a-tent in the hospital grounds than in the rooms of
I was supplied with tickets for coach fare and an annual
pass on the P. R. R. and if I could'find a coach to take me
to the station and there were no wrecks on the railroad, I
generally reached Las Cascadas about eight o'clock in time
for the morning session.
Had several very thrilling experiences on my way some-
times. As we very often had three or four wrecks before
reaching our destination--one I will never forget-as we col-
lided with a train load of coffins, or I should say rough
boxes and they were scattered in all directions and as we
were at Miraill:res at the time we were entertained by some
of the inmates of the asylum, situated along the railroad
track, singing grand opera all in different keys. .But in
those 'days no' one worried if we did not get there today,
perhaps w& w,'uld-t tomorrow. I.wais always well supplied
with fruit, eggs, and flowers by the children and one of the
American ladies gave me my lunch every day and it was
a treat to get a home cooked meal.
I closed school at 2:15 as the train reached Las Cas--
cadas at 2:30 and very often we did not arrive in Panama
until 7 o'clock due to washouts wrecks, etc. On my arrival
in Panama one. afternoon I was met by the Superintendent
and he informed me I was transferred to La Boca to a
school of all white children for which I was very grealeful.
I had the honor of having my quarters and school room in:
the Court House but that is another experience.
MRS. W. E. MAXON.
Brief Besume of Canal Zone Schools.
I have been asked to write a brief resume of the schools:
of the Canal Zone. As a teacher since 1908 it has been with
the greatest interest that I have watched the progress and
development of the public school system.
The establishment of schools on the Isthmus was author_
ized in 1904, and at Corozal January 2, 1906 the first school
was opened. Since then, schools have been located in nearly-
all the towns of the Isthmus. At present since so many
towns have been abandoned along the line, schools may be
found at Cristobal, Gatun, Empire, Paraiso, Pedro Miguel,
Ancon and Balboa. They were organized and held together
only under the greatest difficulties owing to the fact that' so
little definite preparation could be made to meet the needs
occasioned by changes which are constantly taking place and:
which indeed are characteristic of every line of activity on
Each year has witnessed improvement until at present.
the high requirements have put these schools on an equal
footing with-the best in the United States. Each year has
brought a very material increase in the enrollment, for there
is at present a membership of twelve hundred pupils in the-
while schools and five hundred in the colored schools. This
can be accounted for in a number of ways: the great number
of advantages that are offered, the confidence felt in the
schools, the fact that the Isthmus each year is becoming
more a place for permanent homes, and lastly a greater num-
ber of children reach the school age as time passes.
Of all the schools, I have found the High School the most
interesting. In the year 1908 there were twelve enrolled in
the register of that department. The year 1916 finds about
136 registered during that year. In 1911 there were grad-
uates having the distinction of being tle first alumni of the
Canal Zone High School. Each year there has been an in-
crease in the nunimbr. In June 1916 sixteen received
diplomas. More than half of the graduates continue their
studies in Universities and many of them have done most
Among the number there are pupils from the Philippines,
Europe. South America and every state of the Union. It is
this very cosmopolitan spirit that has made the schools es-
Plans are afoot now for the construction of beautiful
cement school buildings which will be in harmofiy with the
other permanent buildings of the Isthmus. The Division of
Schools has worked long and laboriously to secure the results
which have been achieved, and the teachers who have suf-
fered many discomforts and much inconvenience have con-
tributed not a little to this end.
JESSIE E. DANIELS.
1. During the school-year of 1914-15, the schools for
white children had a net enrollment of 1,146 and the schools
for colored children a net enrollment of 1,430, making a total
net enrollment of 2,576 children in all of the schools in the
To give you an idea of the present attendance, I might
say that during December, 1915, the total enrollment for
white children was 1,375 and for colored children was 796,
making a total enrollment of 2,171 in 'all of the schools dur-
inwing that month the drop in attendance in the colored
schools this year is due to recent ruling which does not al-
lIw children of silver employees to attend our schools unless
they reside within the Canal Zone.)
2. The number of teachers employed during 1914-15 are
White- 42 (All women excepting one; this number does
not include Mr. Lang and.myself.)
Cblored--21 (All men.)
This year we have 43 white teachers (one man) and 14
colored teachers (all, men.)
3. Although $109,000 was appropriated for our schools
last year, only $90,000 was actually used for running ex-
penses, the other $19,000 being 'used for additional build.
'ings. This year our allotment was $62,000, however, .this
amount will probably increase to $75,000 before the end of
4. It costs the U. S. Government practically $42,000 per
year for salaries and upkeep in maintaining the clubhouses
of the Canal Zone. This amount is in addition to the mem-
bership fees and other money which is received by the club-
5. It is generally thought that it is more difficult for
children, as well as grown-ups, to concentrate their minds
in this climate than in a more temperate one; however, this
seems to have little effect in regarding general growth in
education, even though certain allowances may be made in
The colored children, as 13 characteristic of their peo-
ple, differ from the white children in that they are good on
memory work but fall far short of. the white children on
real thought work.
6. One of the most'serious criticisms that can be of
fered in connection with our white children, is the lack of
responsibility in most of them. I am of the opinion that
it is not so much the climate which causes this weakness,
as it is a matter. of neglect on the part of the parents, since
it can almost without an exception be traced to the home
life and lack of interest on the part of the parents.
7. If other things were equal, there is no reason why
every child on the Zone should not have at least a high
school education, but there are often cases where boys
drop out because they fail to get along in school or be-
cause they wish to earn money. While some of these find
work as unskilled laborers, most of them have enough in-
terest in their futures to learn trades by serving appren-
ticeships of four years. There are 30 such boys serving at
present. as machinists, plumbers, boilermakers, pipefitters,
car centers. patlernmakers, shipwrights blacksmiths, mold-
ers,- and electrician., In order that they might become more'
proficient in their respective trades, an apprentice school
was opened for them over a year ago.. This is explained in
detail in the enclosed clipping under "Courses for Appren-
The industrial courses (details of which are also given
in said clipping) are offered in our public schools for the
purpose of giving our children an appreciation of indus_
trial life and also to help them find themselves in later life.
The commercial courses which were started in the high
school last October, should also contribute to this aim.
8. As is true in all localities, we have various, kinds of
boys to deal with; the best take advantage of every oppor-
tunity offered them to prepare for higher education, in
order that they may get the most out of life, while the
weak ones fall to the many temptations to be found here.
A good number are very willing to let the future take care
of itself, especially so since their fathers are liberal in
giving them spending money in addition to all of the neces-
sities. It seems that the majority of parents are enjoying
more prosperity "than ever before, and as a result they are
making the sad mistake of allowing their children to go
unguided in principle and in the spending of money, conse-
quently the children can not be blamed for neither being
able to appreciate their opportunities nor the value of
money, both of which are so essential to a happy existence.
SA. H. EDGERTON.
The Truth About the Real Latin American Ambition.
Ninety percent of the inhabitants of Latin America are
illiterates. They also state, that these figures are approxi-
mate ones and that Uruguay appears best with forty per
cent, that the average in Brazil is eighty-five per cent and in
Guatemala it is eighty-two per cent.
It is very unjust to give these figures, because they can
only at the'best be approximate as they include the half
civilized native tribes and Indians in general. The figures
could have been taken from statistics of the various nations
concerned, that deal with the Spanish population. By no
stretch of the imagination can an Indian be included in a
"Latin" American census. In many of these countries such
as Brazil, the native tribes of Indians probably outnumber
the regular Spanish and Portuguese inhabitants. Yet Brazil
has no less than twelve thousand primary schools and over
three hundred secondary and there are 600,000 pupils in the
former and over thirty thousand in the latter. Argentina
has over a million and a quarter scholars in federal schools,
and this does not include provincial and private schools.
The public school system in Panama is a distinct credit
to the republic. There are primary schools in even the small
village and secondary schools in the bigger towns. There
are normal schools to prepare for teachers and of course the
-big national institute, that was erected in 1911. It has seven
large buildings. with class rooms, laboratori-sr and doemito-
ries. It is a national institution and any pupil, who qualifies
for the higher courses may have four years education here
at the expense of the government.
There are in Panama a trade school and a national con-
servatory of Music. The Latin Americans are doing all, that
can be done in the matter of education. They have of course
a big up-hill fight to wipe out the illiteracy of the poorer
classes that has been handed down by their predecessors, but
they are doing their bit today and here are our very best
wishes for their ultimate success.
MRS. ERNEST VON MUNCHOW.
SOCIAL AND CLUBS
In a book entitled "The American Woman and the Pan-
ama Canal" the story of the Canal Zone Federation of Wom-
en's Clubs and the individual clubs which formed it should-
surely have a prominent place.
It is probably safe to say that never had there been so
large and so diverse a colony of Americans on foreign soil
as was gathered on the Isthmus of Panama in nineteen hun.
dred and six. They had come from all parts of the United
States, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and from Canada to
the Gulf of Mexico. They represented almost every type of
American life, professional men, army officers and soldiers,
mechanics, steam shovel men, engineers, clerks, workers of
all sorts,-every class except the idle rich and the very poor-
for them there was no place and no excuse. The men had
brought their wives and families with them, and, for the
most part, had comfortable homes. They had in common
the great work they had come to the tropics to accomplish.
They were busy all day, and tired at night, and they had
very little excuse for being discontented or unhappy.* But
with the women it was different. Housekeeping cares were
light, the days were long and lonely, the climate was uncom-
fortable and trying, and many a woman knew no one in the
town where she happened to live.
And so, when in the spring of nineteen hundred and
seven, Secretary of War Taft made an official visit to the
Canal Zone, one of the problems brought to his attention was
the discontent and loneliness of some classes of the women.
He very wisely suggested that a woman could solve that pro-
blem better than he, and when he returned to the United
States, he sent Miss Helen Varick Boswell, of New York, to
look over the situation and, if possible and practicable, to
start some women's clubs which .would serve to bring the
women together and give them a common interest.
Miss Boswell visited all of the towns on the Zone, getting
the women together and discussing with them the club idea,
with the result that eight clubs were started. Then a meet-
ing was called at the Hotel Tivoli, at Ancon, and the eight
clubs were brought together in the Canal Zone Federation
of Women's Clubs. Mrs. George W- Goethals was elected
Honorary President, but the real President was Mrs. Lorin
C. Collins, of Cristobal, and to her belongs much,of the cre-
dit for the success of the organization. Later a ninth club
was organized and federated. The following year the Canal
Zone Federation became a member of the General Federation
of Women's Clubs of America and sent delegates to the Bien_
nial in Boston in nineteen hundred and eight, and in Cincin-
nati in nineteen hundred and ten.
In looking back over the years during which tlfe clubs
were -in existence, it is hard to say how much they did to
bring about the result for which they were started. As time
went on the women grew accustomed to the strange living
conditions, made friends of their neighbors, and foufid new
interests in the new land. And they would have done so
even if there never had been any clubs. But they found in
the clubs not only the social life which they had needed, but
also intellectual stimulus and a chance to help along phil-
anthropic and civic lines. Although the Commission did
everything that was necessary for the health and physical
well-being of the workers on the Zone and their families,
there stilf were many ways in which the women's clubs could
be of service to their communities. It is impossible in an
article of this sort to tell at all in detail what was accom-
plished, but it is fair to say that their influence for good was
felt wherever they were located. The churches, schools,
hospitals, prisons, asylums, were all helped in one way or
another, .and many a woman to-whom sorrow came will
always remember the.way in which the women's clubs came
to her assistance.
The Cristobal Club has the honor of being the one club
which has been continuously successful, and it is the only
one of the original clubs still in existence. An interesting
:story could be written of its history. Perhaps that. is largely
due to the fact that Mrs. Lorin C. Collins was its first Pres.
ident. She had had much experience in club work, had been
the President of the Chicago Women's Club, and she brought
to the club, not only her experience and training, but also a
charming personality and great enthusiasm for the work,
which made her a most enthusiastic and beloved leader.
The Canal Zone Federation held meetings at first three
times a year, and then annually. These meetings were red
letter days for the club women and will always be remem-
bered with pleasure. The women of the Isthmus were rarely
fortunate in their guests and speakers on these occasions.
Among them were President and Mrs. Taft, Mrs. Philip N.
Moore, then President of the General Federation of Women's
Clubs. The Hon. and Mrs. William Jennings Bryan, Miss Helen
Varick Boswell, Dr. Edward Devine, of Columbia University,
But the Federation not only held meetings which were
.a pleasure and inspiration to its members. It also had a
large influence over the work of the several clubs and was
the instrument for any concerted action. It owned and cir-
culated a library of several hundred books, and a fine col-
lection of photographs of famous paintings. It sent Christ-
mas boxes to the leper colony at Palo Seco, and to the pris_
owners at the penitentiary. It took a little blind boy from the
City of Colon and sent him to one of the best schools for the
blind in the United States, where he stayed for three years
learning to take care of himself. These are only a few of the
activities of the Federation during the six years of its exist-
The last public meeting was held at the Tivoli in Jan-
uary, nineteen hundred and thirteen. The rooms were
crowded and the meeting, with its masterly addresses and
beautiful music, was an inspiration to all who were present.
It was hard to realize that the need for the organization was
over and that there would not longer be enough clubs to
make a Federation possible, but that was the fact and it was
the unanimous decision of the delegates that it was better
to dissolve the Federation while it was still a success, tnan
to let it gradually go to pieces as it surely must. But when,
at the little business meeting of the executive committee held
later to wind up the affairs of the organization, the President
said "I now declare the.Canal Zone Federation of Women's
Clubs to be at an end," there was hardly a dry eye in the
room, and each woman present felt that something really
Worth while had gone out of her life.
But, although the Canal Zone Federation is a thing of
the past, its influence is still going on through its members.
One of its officers started the Woman's Club of Sante Fe,
New Mexico, and was its first president. Another, in the
little new town of Anchorage, Alaska, has organized a club
and is: its president. Still another is, president of the
Woman's Club of Saleiri, Oregon. Arid there are probably
many more who, in their respective homes back in the United
States, are passing on to 6thers.the inspiration for helpful
service which they received from the Canal Zone Federation
JEANETTE FERRIS BROWN.
Our Y. M. C. A. Clubhouses.
When our government was looking for some. agency
do the welfare work.for the canal, constructors, the President
wisely chose the Young Men's Christian.Association. The
beauty of this organization is. that it is interdenominational
as well as international.. The Y. M.. C. A. has done much to
make the different denominations tolerant of each other, by
emphasizing the sameness and not the difference of. their
The intentions of the Association is to provide innocent
amusement and.wholesome recreation for the all-round de-
velopment of manhood. Hundreds and thousands of men
Who have come under its influence testify to its wonderful
efficiency in doing this.
To meet the needs of the community life .of the 'Zone,
the Associations have opened their doors to the families of
employees. .Thus the Y..M..C. A.'s have become community
clubhouses. ..No one but God knows the extent.of the pathos
of the great sob.of homesickness and loneliness and dis_
couragement that has .shaken the souls of many of our. men
and.women who came downto build this greatest wonder of
the world under trying tropical conditions.
FIFTEEN HUNDRED POUNDERS.
"The tramp of many feet," is the one pervading thought of
anyone who sits for even a few minutes in the lobby of one
of these buildings. Men to the reading room, writing desk,
game room; women to the bowling alleys, physical culture
classes or a "Friendly Circle;" girls to meet their campfire
chaperone; boys to their scout meeting and games. The en-
tire community to the picture show to see the best in comedy
and tragedy, or to a States entertainment, or on Sunday to
a Bible class or the evening song service. Thus a constant
stream of humanity is being served, entertained, instructed,
uplifted by the Y. M. C. A. clubhouse.
FANNIE B. STEELE.
When numan beings (including women) are set together,
apart from the rest of their kind, in new and unfamiliar
places, two paradoxical but human qualities always assert
themselves; a quickening love for their own kind and old
haunts, now far behind them, and a lively interest in protect-
ing from intrusion, even by their own kind, the associations
established in the new field. The Canal Zone has been no
different"in this respect from every other similar field of
endeavor in the world.
When the Canal Builders came to the Isthmus and estab-
lished themselves, with their wives and sisters and what not
of feminity to aid and comfort them, they developed a comr
munity of interests that seemed for the time all their own.
They had their own differences, divisions, quarrels perhaps,
but these served in the end only to bring them closer toge-
ther. Together, like pioneers everywhere, they endured and
suffered, worked and played. Together they were in a new
field, among a people that could not understand them, cut off
from their own kind (who could understand even less), and
engaged in a new and world-important task. Around this
task their associations and interests centered. Unconsciously,
do doubt, but. effectively, it was the Canal Builders against
Yet none of them now probably would deny that justMs
they got farthest from their own land and people, just as
their interests in their new associations grew definite, their
love for their own land and old associations quickened into
a tangible thing. The United States in perspective was not
a vast, diversified country peopled by millions of heterogen.
ious humans-it was merely Home; and every human at
Home was a brother-as long as he remained there.
But when wandering humans from the homeland ap-
peared on the Isthmus, the relationship (for the time being)
proved not so. close. The newcomer, knowing nothing of the
tribulations of the past, could obviously understand nothing
of the present, and go could not be admitted at once within
the circle of Canal fraternity. For this must prove his
worth, and through time alone gain some sort of understand-
ing of what had been endured by his predecessors in create_
ing the place he was destined to fill in Canal associations.
So when the Army came, bringing with its tentage and
cooking utensils its unemancipated women, there was (for
the time being) no real place for it-or them. The Army was
not of the Builders, still engaged in their task, and the need
of protection for the work accomplished was not immedi-
ately manifest. Rather grudgingly, it appeared, the Army was
permitted to occupy (at its owh expense) the abandoned
places of the Builders, now naturally somewhat frayed about
the edges, and under any circumstances not altogether suited
for the purpose. Rather more haltingly, it was permitted
to find some sort of a mental meeting place with the Builders
and a common social plane on which to mingle with them.
In the end even this would have been sufficient.
It was a new experience for the Army, however, albeit.
no doubt, a profitable one. It was not the hardships or dis-
comforts that were new. The Army experienced these here
in some measure, but it was used to them in greater measure.
If it resented them in this case it was because they seemed
unnecessary. But the experience was new in another way.
Always before the Army had, been first in the field. Through
our own Great West ,in Alaska, the West Indies, the Philip_
pines, wherever the United States has gone, the Army blazed
the way, or at least accompanied the first pioneers and with
them helped to establish the first associations that make it
worth the while of later comers to seek to enter. And the
Army being no less human than every other association of
mankind and rather more closely united than most, may un-
der similar circumstances have been just as slow in welcom-
ing the newcomer as it was slow in finding welcome here.
All of which fortunately is now in retrospect and only to
be laughed at. For the civilian and the soldier have found
common ground here, as they have everywhere when they
have come to know each other, and both have been earnest
in improving this ground since its discovery. No one will
ever know how much credit is due to the women of both
pastries to this unconscious agreement for this result, and no
one but the women (men being reasoning beings and so un_
imaginative) will probably ever suspect that all of it belongs
to them. But this, as well, matters little. It is the fact
that counts. Time alone, of course, and the association that
comes with time, and the understanding that comes from
association, would have been sufficient; but the wars and
rumors of wars that have spread around the earth during the
last two years have spurred understanding into sympathy,
and are helping vastly now to bring to full realization the
knowledge that we are all here for a common purpose.
But our isolation on the Isthmus which has served to
quicken our love of Home has served also to present the iso-
lation of the United States in this troublous period more
clearly than it shows to our fellows there. There, truly, pre-
paredness has become a byword, but here it is pregnant with
possibilities of disaster unless it develop something more
than lip service. For preparedness we Canal women have
done what we could, and have found in the doing means to
better understanding and complete sympathy. )And the
possibility that our work, unertaken for others, may help
hereafter to alleviate in some small way the suffering of our
own menfolk assuredly makes it doubly worth while; and it
ought to serve as well to reduce to the vanishing point the
little differences that arise because we are human, but that
after all are more fancied than real.
Wife of General Clarence Edwards in Command of all Army
on the Isthmus.
The red Flag is the sign for all Latin Americans to dis-
pise what follows this flag, according to this fact.
Now I never lived in Washington, but I've heard people
say, who did live-there- for several years, and had to move
away. That auto cars for army folks are as common, if you
please-Like we would say in Panama-"As red bugs, ticks,
and fleas." When they come honking down the street, the
traffic does not stop, they take their turn like white folks
should, and listen to the "Cop" who in the middle of the
square you'll find from day to day, directing all who enter
there that turn about's, fair play. It makes no difference to
him or what mission you are bent, whether business, love,
or pleasure,.he doesn't get a cent, for letting anybody by,
whether General Captain, or Lieutenant, he simply raises up
his hand and you answer the salute. And if you hoisted a
red flag as you approach this "Bull," there'd be a mix-up
right away, and you no doubt he'd pull. But in Panama, Oh
Goodness! when you hear that old honk! honk! And see the
red flag streaming as this car goes buzzifig lonk, children,
chickens, dog and monkeys, take to refuge right away, as
for speed laws, just forget them, they were made for those at
play. If you're stricken with amazement, and don't under_
stand what is, just remember its the "Jefe," and he's an of-
ficial big. In this land of rain and sunshine, it don't matter
what you are. It is what we get away with, that makes us
each a star. VERITAS.
The wail of a misunderstood U. S. Soldier is rather ap-
pealing but none the less humorous.
We're not ashamed of the uniform
And if you are a friend
You'll say no word against it
No word that would offend;
It has covered honored bodies,
And by heroes has been worn,
Since the days of the republic
When the Stars and Stripes were born.
Uniforms have many patterns,
Some are "khaki," some are blue-
And the men who choose to wear them
Are of many patterns too.
Some are sons of wealthy parents,
Some are college graduates:
Some have many manly virtues,
Some are simply reprobates.
We have many skilled mechanics,
Men of brains and letter, who
Loyally have served the country
That they are a credit to.
No, indeed ,they're not all angels,
Blackguards? Yes, we've some of those-
When they came into the service
They all wore civilian clothes.
Men of all kinds, when they are drinking,
Misbehave, act rough and swear;
Drunken soldiers or civilians
Are disgusting anywhere.
Grant us then, your kind forebearance-
We all appreciate it more
Than a lot of noisy cheering,
When we're leaving for the war,
We have sat with you in public
And have smelled -your whisky breath-
Heard remarks insane and silly,
Nearly boring us to death;
Tho' we offer no objections
When in public we are met,
Many people would exclude us
From that most exclusive (?) set.
When you meet us so in public,
On the street or anywhere,
We don't merit sneering glances
Or a patronizing stare;
For we have an honored calling,
As our garments plainly show:
You may be a thief or parson-
How on earth are we to know?
We don't care for your profession-
Occupation-what are you;
When you're gazing at a soldier,
And he is gazing back at you,
Who is there to judge between you
As you stand there man-to-man?
Only one-the great Almizhlv:
Name another if you can!
Drop your proud and haughty bearing
And your egotistic pride;
Get acquainted With the soldier
And the heart and soul inside.
Test and try to analyze him,
Criticize him through and through
And perhaps you then will find him
Just as good a man as you.
The public reflection of a U. S. Soldier is said in these
few lines, and gives evidence of real genuine home-sickness.
Way down in Sunny Panama, beneath the sheltering
Sat a soldier tired and lonely, his face was sad and
A native emerge from bush near by, and slapped
his back and cried:
"Why look so lonely soldier man?"
"Twas only eighteen months ago, I was as happy as
Until one night at a picture show as I sat there with
They showed a picture of the army, of the U. S.
boys in blue,
Marching straight behind the band, they were a hand-
The girl remarked, "how beautiful they look, so brave
Why don't you join the army," then a soldier, I could
That night I thought it over, and I thought it would
At the recruiting station the next day, I solemnly
signed my name.
They sent me down to Panama, two thousand miles
Down into the jungles to live there night and day.
I cut the grass with a bolo and dig dirt with a pick,
I must use a shovel and make sidewalks "ut of
I can never see my sweetheart on the money that I
I can only sit and ponder over my sad mistake.
She is to be married within the next two weeks I
And now I've lost the best of life, a girl so sweet and
I've ruined my life and lost a wife. I cannot work
All my ambition has gone with her and all that might
And when these three years are in, I'm through with
And before I'd put in another hitch, I will be a lovely
What are Reminiscences?-Thoughts of bygone days, oi
happenings and doings, on which our memories love to dwell
and muse-None of the men or women who have helped to
build the Canal in one way or the other will be forgotten by
their families for generations to come.
And therefore, thanks to all who put their thoughts in
word and print.-A President said in his preparedness-
"Womeu are closer to the heart of the nation than men."
And who could deny this........
"I feel incapable of adequately describing the beauties and
wonders of the Canal Zone. At this season of the year, at
least, it is a fairyland of palmtrees, sunny lawns, cool-look-
ing houses, smooth, clean pavements, green hills and pic-
turesque shore-line. It is here, too, that I have seen how the
might of our government and the marvelous ingenuity of its
citizens have together fulfilled the dreams of America's most
far-seeing statesmen; how hill and rocks have yielded; how
lake and river and ocean, at the call of man, have poured
their crystal strength into a glorious path for the travel and
commerce of the world."
This was said by a whole hearted woman who came to
Panama on a sacred mission.
Another noble hearted woman gave us the-passing judg-
men-and an occasion known all to us-
A very sad affair.
One of the most prevalent and ugly sins of the human
race is the sin of judging one another. The Great Teacher
said: "Judge not that ye be not judged." It is a violation
of the law of love. Love thinketh no evil. We are forbidden
to prejudge, misjudge, hastily judge or harshly judge. There
is much prejudgment in the world. Often we judge our
brothers before we have weighed the evidence against him,
before we have allowed him to present his side of the case.
Many a fellow has been indicted, tried, convicted and sen_
tenced to be hung before his case has even reached the grand
jury .There is much misjudging in the world. Thousands of
good people have been unjustly and cruelly judged. Many
have gone to their graves misunderstood, crushed, heart-
broken, yet innocent.
It is possible for no one to acquire more than a limited
amount of the results of culture to form an entirely original
judgment only in a few cases. But we must learn that it is
a mark of culture not to pronounce judgment either upon
people or questions with which we are not thoroughly con-
versant. Good taste prescribes that as we refuse to wear
false jewels if we do not possess real ones, so we should re-
frain from pronouncing judgment upon persons or questions
upon which we have not formed an opinion through our own,
There are at least three great reasons why we are dis-
qualified to judge each other. In the first place, we are not
good enough. We read-"For thou that judges doest the
same things." Are you really better than your neighbor
whom you judge? Are you sure the beam is out of your own
eye before you attempt to take the mote from your neigh-
bor's eye? There are many whom we judge at whose feet
(if we only knew) we might sit and learn the more perfect
"If we knew each other better
we should love each other more."
Then, in the second place, we are not wise enough. We
cannot know the real life of our fellow man-the hereditary
strain, the peculiar temptations ,the personal struggle. May-
be if we were in his place we would not do as well. Alas
many a poor fellow got his start downward before he was
oorn-he came into the world handicapped. Let us see to it
that we add no sting. Nay, rather, let us give a helping hand..
Again we are not merciful enough. Man, as a rule, is a
merciless judge. You have only to read the pages of history
to confirm this fact. For instance look at the old methods
of warfare, the prison rules, the civil laws, to Herod and
Nero and the tortures that men underwent because of their
religious convictions. In our human judgments we are con-
trolled by prejudice, animosity, selfishnes, jealousy, favorit-
ism or meanness.
Spying out others' faults is "an ugly business. Real good
folks do not do such things. Censorious people are not holy
people, it matters not how holy they appear to be. Good
people are not reckless about giving pain to others. It is bet-
ter to forgive to much than to condemn too much. If we
could draw back the curtain that surrounds each others'
lives we should find much that is beautiful and sympathetic
where now they seem cold and indifferent. Indeed,
"We should love each other better
If we only understood."
It was women and always women who have tried to
smooth the task of the Diggers "from Ocean to Ocean in ten
I remember in 1907 a woman set out in Gatun to ap_
proach the men at work in the Locks 35 feet deep, to collect
for a piano, for the first Sunday School. Five days she
went down among mud, water and dangers. And came forth
with $40.00.-Her face was all glory-and success-Thanks
Our America has no Eyes and honors for "The Human in
the broad field of daily life." The Birth place of "Patriotism."
The Woman-Mother-and home is the inspiration of
And why is our great country passing over this miles
stones of a Nation?
MRS. ERNEST VON MUNCHOW.
To Lovers of Stamp Collections, This May Be of Interest:
Quite a number of residents of Panama are ardent col-
lector, of foreign postage stamps, but it is astonishing how
few of them have a really good selection of Panamanian
stamps. True, they have a complete set of those in present
use and many have the commemorative set issued in 1913,
in honor of the four hundredth anniversary of the ever to be
remembered Balboa. Thi:.s latter while being of ,little
special value today will b.- bf some value as the years run on,
they are also a very handsome set, with the views of Balboa's
landing and Old Panama and so on.
The most valuable stamp among those ever issued on the
Isthmus is the ten cent blue stamp issued under the Colom:
bian dominion in 1878, which will always fetch twenty dol-
lars in the States, as here there are quite a few in existence.
Then again there is the five cent gray stamp of the same
period, quoted in New York today at five dollars. The early
Colombian stamps were reprinted in a number of shades on
thin to moderately thick paper of a white or yellowish color,
some are without gum and others have crackly gum on them,
they are all worth collecting and their value of course in-
creases each year. The issues of 1892 and 1896 which were
surcharged with a hand stamp "Republica de Panama" are
now becoming very rare and are worth around ten dollars a
piece, while those issued in 1903 with the surcharge hand-
stamped in violet or magenta are not so rare. Some of the
surcharges have the word Panama with the last letter "A"
printed upside down, this increases the price value. There
were a few one cent stamps issued in 1906-7 with the center_
piece printed in verted, these are worth about ten dollars
each and are becoming very rare.
Including registration stamps there are about seven hun-
dred stamps in all for a complete Panamanian collection but
this big number has nothing on Colombia, which is reputed
to have issued more varieties of postage stamps than any
other country and even specialists in Latin-American collec-
tions have never been able to secure a complete selection,
which is supposed to run into many thousands.
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
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