GEORGE W. GOETHALS
George W. Goethals sends a typed letter asking for reservations to be
made for him.
Typed Letter Signed: "Geo W. Goethals," 1p, 8½x11. New
York, New York, 1923 November 26. To Mrs. Annie Clark, Vineyard Haven, Mass.
The engineer writes, in full: "I am going down to Vineyard
Haven on Friday, the 30th instant, with Tom and am writing to ask if you will
make reservations for us on that date. If you have no accommodations available
will you kindly notify me at 1180 Beacon Street, Brookline, Massachusetts."
In 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt had appointed George Washington
Goethals (1858-1928) as Chief Engineer (1908-1914) and Chairman of the Panama
Canal Commission. Goethals took complete charge of both in January 1908. The
Panama Canal, which was made possible by a pact between the Republic of Panama
and the U.S. in 1903, opened ocean travel between the Atlantic and Pacific
(prior to its opening, ships had to travel around the southern tip of South
America). Goethals, who carried the canal construction through its
completion in 1914, was promoted to Major General in 1915, while
serving as Governor of the Canal Zone (1914-1917). He was
appointed Governor by President Woodrow Wilson; that position was appointed by
the President of the U.S., while other officials of the Canal Zone were
appointed by the President and Congress. Goethals, who had graduated from West
Point in 1880, was a Second Lieutenant with the Corps of Engineers and taught
civil and military engineering at West Point. He was construction supervisor
of the Muscle Shoals Dam Project on the Tennessee River and served in the
Spanish-American War (1898) as Chief of Engineers. Following duty in WWI,
Goethals became chief consultant for the Port of New York Authority
through his own engineering firm. A bridge connecting New York City with New
Jersey is named in honor of the Brooklyn-born engineer. Vertical fold
touches the "W" in signature, else fine.
For more documents by these signers click the names below:
MAJOR GENERAL GEORGE W. GOETHALS
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