FERDINAND de LESSEPS Ferdinand de Lesseps sends an autograph letter in French not translated. Autograph Letter signed: “Ferd. de Lesseps”,1p, 5¼x8¼. No place, 1876 July 2. In French, not fully translated. To “my dear friend.” French diplomat Ferdinand de Lesseps (1805-1894) was posted to Egypt (1832-1837) when he first dreamed of a canal from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea, permitting ships to go directly from Europe to Asia without rounding Africa. Busy with other diplomatic missions for the next decade, he resigned from French government service in 1849, returned to Egypt, and convinced the chief Ottoman official there, Pasha Said, to support construction of a canal. Begun by a French-Egyptian company in 1857 and opened in 1869, the Suez Canal came under British control by transfer of Egypt’s shares in the company in 1875. In the 1880s, de Lesseps led an unsuccessful effort to build a canal across Panama. Mailing folds and scattered, light toning. Pencil notes (unknown hand) on verso (no show through). Otherwise, fine condition. – Please contact us if you have any questions or require additional information. HFSID 252465
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