Ferdinand de Lesseps

Ferdinand de Lesseps was born in Wood Ox - Yi Chou Year of the 60-year Cycle of the Chinese Zodiac

The Vicomte de Lesseps, Ferdinand Marie was born November 19, 1805. He was a respected French consul and engineer. He was directly responsible for development and building of the Suez Canal that joins the Red and Mediterranean Seas. Lesseps later attempted to build a Panama Canal at sea level. However, yellow fever and malaria as well as financial problems halted the building of the Canal. The US purchased the project and changed the design to a non-sea-level canal with locks. The Panama Canal was eventually completed in 1914. Lesseps was raised in the diplomatic core and he fulfilled his destiny by being vice-consul at Alexandria, Egypt. He was given books about the Suez Canal written by Napoleon Bonaparte. This peaked Lesseps?€™ imagination. Lesseps was sent to Cairo as consul and given the management of the consulate general at Alexandria. He worked continually to bring aid to those who were afflicted with debilitating epidemics. 1839 Lessep was sent to Rotterdam as consul and then transferred to Malaga. He was sent to Barcelona as consul and promoted to consul general. In 1849 Lessops was sent to Rome to negotiate the return of Pope Pius IX to the Vatican. Lessops lost his wife and one son in 1854, retired from the diplomatic core and returned to Alexandria. Lesseps began his work on the Suez Canal and it took over ten years of intense negotiations to raise the necessary funds. In April of 1859, Lesseps lifted the first pick ax beginning the construction of the Suez Canal. Lesseps?€™s Panama Canal project was beset by wet tropics, landslides, malaria and yellow fever. Insufficient funding ended the project. Rumors circulated that French politicians received bribes and bankrupted the project. Lesseps and his son were tried and found guilty of corruption. This sentence was overturned. Lesseps was the head of the Franco-American Union and formally presented the Statue of Liberty to the US. Lesseps died December 7, 1894 at the age of 89.
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