LEBLANC, William.



Vista géneral tomada del Cerro Ancon por William Leblanc,
New York, Snyder, Black & Sturn, April 1863.

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Fine lithographic view over Panama City, taken from Ancon hill, at 200 metres the highest natural point in the country. The almost bird’s-eye view depicts various ships at anchor in the distance, framed in the foreground by trees and flora.

Ancon Hill was of key strategic importance, as shown by, for example, when Captain Morgan climbed the hill to gain a knowledge of the local defences before sacking the city in 1671. It became part of the Panama Canal Zone under U.S. jurisdiction and was subsequently left as jungle, providing a rich habitat for wildlife up to the present day.

1863 was a significant date in Panama’s history when constitutional changes brought increasing autonomy from its union with Colombia.

William LeBlanc owned Ancon Hill, and when Anton De Lesseps visited Panama in the 1880’s, with a view to building a his famous canal across the Isthmus, Leblanc warned him that there would not be trees enough to make crosses to place over the graves of his labourers. This proved sadly prophetic as the canal cost thousands of lives in its construction.


tinted lithograph within an arch-topped border, titled below, 53.5 x 70 cm. (21 x 27 1/2 in).



Stock ID: 91552