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6456 We are in the southeast part of Panama, in the
grassy courtyard of the building in which the first Con-
gress held its meetings.
President Manuel Amador is the tall, slender man with
gray hair and moustache, sitting next to the end of the
front row of his colleagues. The independence of the
Republic of Panama was declared November 4, 1903.
On February 20, 1904, the first presidential inauguration
President Amador was born in Cartagena, Colombia,
and educated for the profession of medicine. He has
been a resident of the Isthmus since 1860. For many
years he was chief medical adviser to the Panama Rail-
road Company and the Pacific Mail Steamship Company.
He has long been identified with the best political interests
of the country, though never seeking office. More than
thirty years previous, during a time of political discontent
and unrest (1869), he had been elected President of Pan-
ama, but a revolution suddenly changed political condi-
tions on the Isthmus and he did not actually assume office.
This time the executive powers of government have been
decisively placed in his able hands.
The Constitution of the country calls tor thle election .of
three Vice Presidents as well as the Chief Executive
The Cabinet is composed of Ministers of Government and
Foreign Relations, Justice and Public Instruction, Fin-
ance and Public Works,-appointed by the President.
The Members of Congress here assembled are chiefly,
planters or business and professional men; most of them
are of Spanish descent; some have French, Indian or"
African blood. They are divided into two parties,-
Liberal and Opposition; their deliberations are conducted
From Notes ot Travel No. 40. copyright by Underwood 6&
President Amador and first congress of the republic of lJ
Le President Amador et le premier congress de la R6pub-
Jique de Panama.
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