Notes for Benjamin Alden Bidlack: On Dec. 12, 1846, at Bogota, a new American charge d'affairs, Benjamin Alden Bidlack, of Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, acting entirely of his own initiative, signed a treaty with the government of President Tomas Cipriano de Mosquera. The critical agreement was contained in article XXXV. New Granada (the former name of Columbia) guaranteed to the United States the exclusive right of transit across the Isthmus of Panama, 'upon any mode of communication that now exist, or that may be hereafter, constructed. In exchange the United States guaranteed 'positively and efficaciously both the 'perfect neutrality of the Isthmus and New Granada's right of sovereignty there. (it was this agreement by which the Panama Railroad was to be made possible. In Washington the news was greeted with only moderate interest since Bidlack had acted without instruction and since there was much old, deep-seated distrust of "entangling" alliance. Not for another year and a half did the Senate act on confirmation and not until the Government of New Granda had sent a special envoy to Washington, the very able Pedro Alcantara Herron, to lobby for the agreement.
"The Bidlack Treaty, as it was commonly called, was Bidlack's only diplomatic triumph. A small town lawyer and newspaper editor, a congressman briefly before going to Bogota, he died seven months after the treaty was ratified."
"The Path Between the Seas" By David McCullough --1977
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Children of Benjamin Alden Bidlack and Margaret Miltilda Wallace are: