Here also stands the mansion erected and occupied by Ferdinand de Lesseps during his residence on the isthmus.
Later it acquired increased importance through its selection by de Lesseps as the site for the Atlantic entrance to his canal.
FERDINAND DE LESSEPS (1805-1894).
From the middle of the 18th century the ancestors of Ferdinand de Lesseps followed the diplomatic career, and he himself occupied with real distinction several posts in the same calling from 1825 to 1849.
His father, Mathieu de Lesseps (1774-1832), was in the consular service; hi$ mother, Catherine de Grivegnee, was Spanish, and aunt of the countess of Montijo, mother of the empress Eugenie.
From 1825 to 1827 he acted as assistant viceconsul at Lisbon, where his uncle, Barthelemy de Lesseps, was the French charge d'affaires.
Ferdinand de Lesseps was also entrusted by his father with missions to Marshal Count Clausel, general-in-chief of the army of occupation in Algeria.
The marshal wrote to Mathieu de Lesseps on the 18th of December 1830: "I have had the pleasure of meeting your son, who gives promise of sustaining with great credit the name he bears."
In 1832 Ferdinand de Lesseps was appointed vice-consul at Alexandria.
Mehemet Ali, who was the viceroy of Egypt, owed his position, to a certain extent, to the recommendations made in his behalf to the French government by Mathieu de Lesseps, who was consul-general in Egypt when Mehemet Ali was a simple colonel.
In 1833 Ferdinand de Lesseps was sent as consul to Cairo, and soon afterwards given the management of the consulategeneral at Alexandria, a post that he held until 1837.
De Lesseps became the father of five sons.
In the course of a bloody insurrection in Catalonia, which ended in the bombardment of Barcelona, Ferdinand de Lesseps showed the most persistent bravery, rescuing from death, without distinction, the men belonging to the rival factions, and protecting and sending away not only the Frenchmen who were in danger, but foreigners of all nationalities.
Following his interpretation of the instructions he had received, de Lesseps began negotiations with the existing government at Rome, according to which Pius IX.
De Lesseps then retired from the diplomatic service, and never afterwards occupied any public office.
De Lesseps to pay him a visit, and on the 7th of November 1854 he landed at Alexandria; on the 30th of the same month Said Pacha signed the concession authorizing M.
Encouraged by this approval, de Lesseps no longer allowed anything to stop him.
While in the interests of his canal Lesseps had resisted the opposition of British diplomacy to an enterprise which threatened to give to France control of the shortest route to India, he acted loyally towards Great Britain after Lord Beaconsfield had acquired the Suez shares belonging to the Khedive, by frankly admitting to the board of directors of the company three representatives of the British government.
Ferdinand de Lesseps steadily endeavoured to keep out of politics.
The king of the Belgians having formed an International African Society, de Lesseps accepted the presidency of the French committee, facilitated M.
Public opinion, it may be declared, designated Ferdinand de Lesseps as the head of the enterprise.
Politics, which de Lesseps had always avoided, was his greatest enemy in this matter.
Their attacks were so vigorously made that the government was obliged, in self-defence, to have judicial proceedings taken against Ferdinand de Lesseps, his son Charles (b.
Charles de Lesseps, a victim offered to the fury of the politicians, tried to divert the storm upon his head and prevent it from reaching his father.
Ferdinand de Lesseps died at La Chenaie on the 7th of December 1894.
De Lesseps was a member of the French Academy, of the Academy of Sciences, of numerous scientific societies, Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour and of the Star of India, and had received the freedom of the City of London.
But when the Panama "scandal" has been forgotten, for centuries to come the traveller in saluting the statue of Ferdinand de Lesseps at the entrance of the Suez Canal will pay homage to one of the most powerful embodiments of the creative genius of the 19th century.
De Lesseps, and resisted by Palmerston with all the weight he could bring to bear against it.
The pasha was much under French influence, and in 1856 was induced to grant to Ferdinand de Lesseps a concession.
At the moment when Lesseps had secured the signing of a treaty with the Roman Republic permitting peaceful occupation of the city by the French army, he was peremptorily recalled and Oudinot was as unexpectedly ordered to take the city by storm.
On the western breakwater is a colossal statue of Ferdinand de Lesseps by E.
De Lesseps, French consul-general (d.
He visited Spain in 1866, Egypt in 1868, when he went up the Nile with Ferdinand de Lesseps in a steamer lent by the Khedive.
Order to gain tim.e for reinforcements to arrive, sent Ferdinand de Lesseps to pretend to treat with Mazzini, the envoy himself not being a party to this deception.
Barnett Smith, The Life and Enterprises of Ferdinand de Lesseps (London, 1893); and Souvenirs de quarante ans, by Ferdinand de Lesseps (trans.