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George W. Goethals signs a piece of paper on February 4, 1914, the day the U.S. Congress confirmed Goethals as the
first Governor of the Permanent Government of the Panama Canal Zone, an office he held until 1917.
Signature: "Geo. W. Goethals/Culebra, CZ/2-4-14", 1p, 4½x3¼. 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. The day this autograph was signed, February 4, 1914, the U.S. Congress confirmed Goethals as the first Governor of the Permanent Government of the Panama Canal Zone, an office he held until 1917. Tape stain at blank lower left corner. Fine condition.

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Born: June 29, 1858 in New York City, New York
Died: January 21, 1928 in New York City, New York

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