Panamá History - Time Line


Rodrigo de Bastidas - He is credited with the discovery of Panamá. He was exploring the northern coast of South American, alone the coast of Colombia, when he explored the mouth of the Atrato River. He sailed along the northern coast as far as El Retrete, perhaps even as far as the site of Nombre de Diós, and Porto Bello. There is a port that he named, El Escribano, on the coast of Panamá. 

1502 - 1503

Christopher Columbus (Fourth Voyage) - On October 5, 1502, Columbus sailed into Almirante Bay, in Boca's del Toro. On October 7th, they sailed into Chiriqui Lagoon and spent 10 days exploring the area.

October 17 - they left Chiriqui Lagoon and sailed past the Golfo de los Mosquitos, and anchored off the Chiriqui River, in the land of Veragua, the land of gold, that the Indians told him about. They stayed there several day, but the Indians were very belligerent and they continued their journey.

October 31 - they discover the Chagres River, and Columbus named it, Rio de los Lagartos, he noticed the there were a large number of caymans on the banks of the river, reminding him of the crocodiles on the Nile River.

November 2 - they sailed into a good harbor that Columbus named Puerto Bello.

November 10 - they sailed into Nombre de Diós and spent 12 days there.

November 16 - they sailed into the Port of Retrete. They stayed there until December 6th.

December 16 - the fleet puts in at a place Columbus called Puerto Gordo, which is now Limon Bay, where the city of Colon is now located. They stayed there until January 3, 1503.

January 6 - they dropped anchor off a river that Columbus named Belén (Bethlehem), since it was the Epiphany (Three Kings Day). This was the land called Veragua, where the Guaymi Indians had many gold mines.

February 14 - they start to build the settlement of Santa María de Belén

April 16 - After abandoning the town of Belén, due to the hostility of the Indians, they set sail back to Española.

1509 - 1510

Diego de Nicuesa - he was appointed First Governor of Castilla del Oro, by the King of Spain in 1508. He sailed from Española, early in 1510 with five ships and 700 men to go to Veragua, and establish a settlement in Belen, the same settlement that Columbus had to abandon because of the hostility of the natives.. They suffered great hardships, wrecked ships and famine. He landed in Puerto Bello, where more of his men were killed by the natives. He continued east, and arrived at another place visited by Columbus and founded the town of Nombre de Diós


Martin Fernandez de Enciso - sailed to reinforce the settlement of San Sebastian, to which he was appointed, Alcalde, by Alonso de Ojeda, the Governor of Nueva Andalucía (Tierra Firme), in 1510, on the coast of Colombia. They discovered that the settlement it had been burned to the ground by the natives and the settlers had fled. Vasco Nuñez de Balboa suggested and convinced the Encisco to move the settlement to the western side of the gulf, to a place he had been to before, on his voyage with Bastidas. He told them about how friendly the natives were, the fertile land, and good water supply in the new place. When they arrived there, the found that Balboa was correct in his description of the land and the natives. In 1510, Enciso founded the town of Santa María de la Antigua del Darien, the first European settlement in Central America on the site of the captured Indian village. This was also the land which Nicuesa was assigned.


Vasco Nuñez de Balboa - was elected Alcalde of Antigua, by the colonist, taking command from Encisco, since they were not in Nueva Andalucía, where Ojeda appointed him Alcalde Major for. They invited Nicuesa, who was at Nombre de Diós, to come to Antigua. This he did, with the intensions of arresting all in Antigua, but when Balboa was told of Nicuesa's intentions, arrested him first, when he arrived. On March 1, 1511, he was sent back to Española with 17 of his men, on a leaky ship which was lost at sea and Nicuesa was never heard from again.

Balboa allowed Enciso to sail back to Spain. He also sent his co-Alcalde with Enciso, so that he would have somebody there to explain to the authorities, their side of the events that lead to the removal of Enciso and Nicuesa.

The town of Nombre de Diós, founded by Nicuesa, was partially abandoned when he moved his forces to Antigua. Later, Balboa sent word to those remaining behind, to total abandoned Nombre de Diós and move to Antigua, a flourishing community.


Vasco Nuñez de Balboa - on September 1, 1513, Balboa set of from Antigua, Panamá,  with a force of 190 Spaniards and about 1,000 natives searching for a sea, that was told to him, by the Indians of Panamá. On September 29, Balboa and his party, walked into the Pacific Ocean, and claimed it in the name of Spain, along with all the land that toughed its coast. He called the ocean, the "South Sea", since he had to walk south, from Antigua. Balboa was given credit for the discovery of the Pacific Ocean. He arrived in Antigua, on January 19, 1514, without the loss of a single man.

Pole Leon IX elevated the church in Antigua to cathedral and Father Juan de Quevedo was named bishop of the new diocese.


Pedro Arias de Ávila (a.k.a. Dávila & Pedrarias) - on June 30th, 1514, Pedrarias arrived in Antigua in an armada of 18 ships and 1,500 men, as governor of the province of Nueva Andalusia and parts of Castillo del Oro  and to take control of Antigua. In the Entourage there were some future, famous Conquistadors, like Hernando de Soto (discoverer of Mississippi River) and Juan Ponce de Leon (discoverer of Florida). The first bishop of Darien, Juan de Quevedo arrives in Antigua with Pedrarias.


Pedrarias - on his mission of conquest and search for gold, takes the field. With 300 men, they sail west to the territory of Cenú, burn the village, and continue west to the territory of Careta. Here was a small port, which he called Acla, with a trail across the isthmus. He wanted to erect a line of forts across the isthmus.

Captain Antonio Tello de Guzmán - in 1515, under order of Pedrarias, was exploring the western coasts of the Mar del Sur (South Sea discovered by Balboa), when he came upon a native village of fishermen. The natives called themselves and their village, Panamá. The natives informed Guzmán of a trail, going north, all the way to Porto Bello, the future Kings Highway (Gold Road)

Diego de Alvitez - Under orders from Guzmán to explore the route, along with 80 men, became the first Spaniard to cross the Rio de los Cocodrilos.

Metropolitan privileges granted to Antigua, alone with its coat of arms, making it the first European city on the American continent to be granted these privileges, as well as the seat of the fist bishopric.


Natá - was founded in 1516 on the site of an Indian village by Alonzo Perez de la Rua & Gonzalo de Badajoz. They were in pursuit of the powerful Cacique of Veragua, Urracá


Vasco Nuñez de Balboa - was arrested by Pedrarias, tried, and beheaded on April 16, 1517, along with his friends, at the Port of Acla. Pedrarias used Acal, for this deed, because it was away from Antigua, where Balboa had many supporters, and could give positive testimony on behalf of Balboa. In Acla, Pedrarias had arranged, in secrete, the judge, the prosecutor and all of the false witness, so that he could control the outcome of the trial.

Gaspar de Espinosa establishes a garrison in the Indian village or Panamá. This is the beginning of the city that was officially founded by Pedrarias two years later.


Nuestra Señora de la Asunción de Panamá - was founded on August 15, 1519 by Pedro Arias de Ávila (Pedrarias). Panamá was the first city founded on the Pacific coast of America by Europeans.  Panamá is one of the oldest Spanish cities in the Americas being established 46 years before San Agustin in Florida, founded in 1565,

1520 Lope de Sosa - the new Governor of Castillo del Oro arrives in Antigua in May, 1520.
1521 Panamá, by royal decree, was given the status of a city, granted a coat of arms, and had many privileges conferred on it on September 15, 1521. The capital of Castilla del Oro was transferred from Antigua to Panamá.

The cathedral is transferred from Antigua to Panama by Bishop Vincente de Peraza, second bishop of Darien.

Alaje (Santiago del Angel) - founded by Benito Hurtado this is another settlement, made in 1521, that still exist today. At one time, this village was known as Chiriqui, and the original capital of the region. The city of David is now the capital of Chiriqui.

1522 - 1523 Gil Gonzalez Dávial & Andrés Niño - set out in January 21, 1522 from Panamá in search of the Moluccas or Spice Islands. They never made it, but explored the western shores of Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Salvador, and Guatemala. Gil discovered Lake Nicaragua. They returned to Panamá on June 25, 1523 with much gold.
1523 Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo y Valdés - the Veedor and Regidor Perpetuo of Antigua, went to Spain on July 3, 1523 to present grievances against Pedrarias to the Spanish Court. With his departure, the situation in Antigua became worse, and the people eventually abandoned it and move to Nombre de Diós or Panamá.

Arriving in November, Oviendo brings charges against Pedrarias, 

1524 Pedro de los Rios, is appointed the new Governor of Castillo (3rd Governor) del Oro, to replace Pedrarias.

The Episcopal See was transferred from Antigua to Panamá. 

Diego Ribero - was the last person to remain in Antigua. He, with his whole family were killed by Indians in September, 1524. At this point, Antigua was abandoned and reclaimed by the jungle.

Acla was abandoned and allowed to be reclaimed by the jungle.

Hernandez de Córdoba - sent by Pedrarias from to take over Nicaragua, turns against Pedrarias and keeps Nicaragua for himself.

Francisco Pizarro & Diego de Almagro (First Expedition) - set sail from Panamá, in November of 1524 in search of the cities of gold, that the Indians talked about, that lay to the south. They went as far south as Punta Quemada, off the coast of Colombia. He sent back some of the small quantity of gold he was able to get, to insure the Governor of Panamá, Pedrarias,  continued support.

1526 Pedrarias - sails from Panamá in January, 1526 to take Nicaragua away from Córdoba. Pedrarias was aware that Pedro de los Rios was coming to replace him as Governor of Panamá and wanted to insure that he had a secure position, when he lost Panamá.

Pedro de los Rios arrives in Panamá in August of 1526 as the new Governor and confiscates all of Pedrarias property.

Francisco Pizarro & Diego de Almagro (Second Expedition) - set sail from Panamá, in 1526. They go past the Bay of Guayaquil, into Peru. He was able to get a glimpse of the Inca Empire and traded for some gold items. He returns to Panamá in 1527 for reinforcements.

1527 Pedrarias - returns to Panamá on February 3, 1527, to answer the charges against him. Like always his luck holds out and he was able to keep his enemies away for the trial. He is awarded the Governorship of Nicaragua, and all of his property is returned.
1529 Natá is destroyed by the natives in 1529, and reestablished by order of Pedrarias, with the new of Santiago de los Caballeros.

In 1529, 10 years after the founding of Panamá, the census indicated that there were 600 people that owned homes in the city.

Father Martin de Vexar, named Bishop of Darien

Pedro de los Rios sent back to Spain and convicted of malfeasance in ofice.

1529 - 1534 Antonio de la Gama - new Governor of Castillo del Oro (4th Governor), replaced Pedro de los Rios
1530 - 1540 Tomás de Berlanga - he was the Bishop of Panamá.
1530 - 1550 El Camino Real is paved and widened so that two carts could pass side-by-side. Many native lives are lost during this construction. During this time, vast quantities of gold, silver and treasures, originating in Peru and destined for Spain, are transported over this road.
1531 Father Tomas de Berlanga of the Order of Santo Domingo was appointed the Bishop of Santa Maria de la Antigua of Darien. He was the second bishop of Panama. Diego Alvarez Ossorio, Cantor of the Cathedral in Panama was appointed to the Bishopric of Nicaragua.
1531 - 1534 Francisco Pizarro & Diego de Almagro (Third Expedition) - Early in January, 1531, Pizarro sailed from Panamá on 3 ships. On November 15, 1532, they entered the Inca city of Coxamaraca. They capture the Inca ruler, Atahuallpa, and ransom his. After receiving payment, they executed on June 24, 1534.

Antonio de la Gama displaced in disgrace as governor.

Francisco de Barrionuevo is appointed the new Governor (5th Governor).

1533 Audiencia Real was established at Panamá.
1534 Pascual de Andagoy, having been given the project of surveying the isthmus for a site and cost of building a canal. On October 22, 1534 he reported "No prince in the world, however powerful, could accomplish the union of the two seas".
1535 Doña Maria de Toledo, widow of Diego Colon, appointed Felipe Gutierrez, as her commander, sailing from Santo Domingo in September, land in Veragua and founded the town of Concepcíon. Due to starvation and the death of many of the inhabitants, the colonist abandoned the settlement, and went to Panamá and Nombre de Diós.

Tomás de Berlanga arrived in February to succeed Peraza as the bishop of Tierra Firme (America)

1537 Veragua - in January, 1537, was officially declared to be a dukedom
1538 - 1819 The viceroyalty of Nueva Granada is established by the Spanish in Tierra Firme. This viceroyalty included the land that makes up parts of Venezuela, Colombia, Panamá, and Ecuador.
1540 Luis Colon - was officially given the duchy of Veraguas in 1540.
1543 Audiencia Real was abolished at Panamá and transferred to Comayagua, then Gracias a Diós, and finally to Santiago de Guatemala.
1544 Vasco Nuñes de Vela, a member of the Spanish Inquisition, arrived in Nombre de Diós with the job of disposing and replacing the viceroy of Peru, and on January confiscated a large shipment of Peruvian gold, because it was a product of Slave, Indian labor, which had been outlawed by the King on the insistence of Bartolomé de Las Casas.  He confiscated all shipments sent by Gonzalo Pizarro all the way to Peru, where he was arrested and executed by Pizarro.

Gonzalo Pizarro & Hernando Bachicao - Pizzaro, at odds with the government, wants to be master of Tierra Firme by seizing Panamá and Nombre de Diós. He sent a fleet under Hernando Bachicao to seize Panamá. He landed in Panamá, and took over the city with no problem. The citizens that opposed, were put to death and he looted the city. When Pizarro heard what Bachicao was doing, he recalled him.

1545 Gonzalo Pizarro & Pedro de Hinojosa - Pizzaro sent Hinojosa in October 1545 with eleven ships to continue the job that Bachicao started. This he was able to do by convincing the citizens of Panamá, that all Pizarro wanted, was not war, but control of the road to Peru. He sent Hernando Mejía de Guzman to Nombre de Diós, where he took control.
1546 Pedro Vasquez is removed as Governor of Panamá (6th Governor)

Doctor Robles is the new Governor (7th Governor) and remained in office for 1 year. He was reported to cause more harm to the inhabitants then Pedrarias. He is removed from office by the rebellion of Gonzalo Pizarro.

1547 Pedro de Gasca - when the Spanish Court, heard about Pizarro's rebellion, Gasca was sent to take control. He arrived in Nombre de Diós, and convinced Mejía in Nombre de Diós to join him, then did the same with Hinojosa. He then set sail to Peru, where he defeated Pizarro's forces, and Pizarro was killed on April 8, 1548.
1550 Gasca arrives in Panamá with a large quantity of gold and silver, to be sent to Spain. Gasca sends it away from Panamá by the Cruces Trail and he and the Governor accompany it. On April 20, 1550, Hernando de Contreras and Juan Bermejo were sent by Rodrigo de Contreras, (grandson of Pedrarias, by Maria,  Pedrarias's daughter, who he had betroth to Balbao), in Nicaragua to take over Panamá and capture the treasure. They take over Panamá, but the treasure is gone. Hernando leaves Bermejo in Panamá while he goes after the treasure. The city rebel's and is taken back by the loyalist and all the traitors are killed.
1555 Francisco López de Górman, chaplain to Hernando Cortez, wrote king Philip II, that if he was resolved to build a canal across the isthmus of Panamá, it would take a lot of men and money.

José de Acosta, a Jesuit priest, wrote the king that God had placed the mountains between the two seas, and it was not man destiny to undo the work of God.

1556 Luis Colon - gave up his claim in 1556 to the duchy of Veragua, in exchange for  a yearly grant of 7,000 ducats. The land is then returned to the Crown.
1560 Father Pablo de Torres, of the Order of San Geronimo, was appointed Bishop of Darien and Panama
1665 Bishop Diego Alvarez Ossorio, was appointed Bishop of Panama following the death of Father Juan Vaca, 6th Bishop of Darien and 4th Bishop of Panama.
1569 Francisco de Abrego was appointed Bishop of Panama.
1572 Francis Drake - on July 29, 1572, captures Nombre de Diós with hope of capturing a gold train as it was transported across the Isthmus. When the Spanish counter attacked, they had to leave very rapidly, leaving behind a large amount of booty.
1573 Francis Drake - returns to Panamá in February of 1573, when he heard that the gold fleet was arriving from Peru. He set up an ambush on the Cruces Trail. They are spotted, but he was able to capture the train, after all the treasure had been removed. Afraid that the Spanish would return with a larger force, he quickly departed Panamá.

On March 31, he returned to Nombre de Diós, and captured a mule train, and gets away with a large quantity of gold and silver.

1575 John Oxenham - arrives on the coast of Darien, and marches across the Isthmus. There he was able to capture two ships, one from Quito with provisions and gold, and another from Lima with Silver. He marched back across the Isthmus. The Spaniards counter attacked, and took back the treasure, killed some of the pirates, Oxenham was capture along with the rest of his men. They were all executed in Panamá.
1576 Andrew Barker, English Buccaneer, landed at the mouth of Chagres River, and marched inland for a couple of days, and his men contacted Malaria. Left Panama and captured a Spanish Merchant Ship in area of Veraguas.

Bishop Abrego died on July 26, 1576.

1577 John Oxenham, English buccaneer, crossed the Isthmus of Panama and captured some Spanish ships in the South Sea. He was capture and executed.
1578 Father Manuel de Mercado was named Bishop of Panama in January.

Drake - sailed to the Pacific Ocean, and captured Spanish ships all along the coast, from Valparaiso all the way to California (San Francisco Bay). In the process, he circumnavigated the globe, returning to England on September 26, 1580.

1580 Father Mercado died and Bartolome Martinez was appointed the next Bishop of Panama. He was the 8th bishop of Darien and 6th of Panama.
1585 The census indicated that there were 484 houses, 11 streets, 3 parks, a cathedral, hospital, 7 Monasteries and Convents, and 10 Government buildings.
1595 El Castillo de San Lorenzo, was constructed at the mouth of the Chagres River.
1595 - 1596 Francis Drake - captured the town on Nombre de Diós and sent a large force to Panamá via the Camino Real under the command of Thomas Baskerville. The Spanish were prepared and defeated the English half way to Panamá and they retreated. Back in Nombre de Diós, they set fire to it, and beached all the ships. They then went to Porto Bello, and Drake became sick and died in Porto Bello. His body was enclosed in a lead coffin, and buried in Porto Bello harbor on January 29, 1596.
1596 Bishop Martinez was promoted to Archbishop the the New Kingdom of Granada
1597 Porto Bello - The settlement of Nombre de Diós, was transferred to Porto Bello, and the fortifications, protecting the harbor, were started. At Nombre de Diós, there was a poor harbor, that was indefensible, while the harbor at Porto Bello, could easily be defended.
1599 Antonio Calderon was appointed Bishop of Panama on March 26, 1599. He was the 10th Bishop of Darien and 8th Bishop of Panama.
1602 Captain William Parker, English buccaneer, slipped past the sentries at Porto Bello, and captured the town.
1607 Bishop Calderon was transferred to Santa Cruz de la Sierra.
1608 Father Augustin de Carvajal, of the order of San Agustin, was appointed the new Bishop of Panama. He was the 11th Bishop of Darien and 9th Bishop of Panama.
1610 The census indicated that the population of Panamá, was one-third of the population of 1585.
1616 Francisco de la Camara, of the Order of Santo Dominogo was appointed bishop and assumed his position on June 28.  He was the 12th Bishop of Darien and 10th Bishop of Panama.
1626 Bishop Camara died on August 18. On July 7, 1626, Cristobal Martinez de Salas, was appointed bishop of Panama. He became the 13th Bishop of Darien and 11th Bishop of Panama.

On August 20, the old Cathedral was torn down because of the instability of the ancient wooden walls. Its services were transferred to the Church of the Compañia de Jesus

On September 29, the new Cathedral is ready, and reopened. This was on the anniversary of the discovery of the South Sea by Vasco Nuñez de Balboa.

1644 There was a massive fire in 1644, that destroyed 97 houses in Panamá.

The Governor, Juan de Vega Bazan, wrote the King, to inform him of the fire and the conditions of the city at the time.

1665 Edvart Mansvelt - a notorious buccaneer planned to take the settlement of Natá in Veragua in 1665, reaching it overland from the Caribbean. Henry Morgan  was second in command of the expedition. They first attacked and captured the island of Santa Catarina, on the Caribbean. Leaving  some of his men there to hold it, he marched to Natá, but found the town to be well defended, and had to retreat. 
1665 Francios L'Olonnois - French pirate, who in 1665, landed in Darien, in search of supplies. He and all his men, except one that got away, were captured and killed by Indians. Esquemelin wrote "The Indians tore him in pieces alive, throwing his body, limb by limb in the fire, and his ashes into the air, that no trace or memory might remain of such an infamous inhuman creature."
1668 Henry Morgan - sailed from Jamaica and sailed into the harbor of Porto Bello, attacking one of the most heavily defended ports in Spanish America. The Spaniards were completely surprise, and put up a gallant fight but were defeated. The Governor was killed, the city sacked, and all the treasures taken. They occupied the city for two weeks, and vowed to return to capture the city of Panamá.
1671 Henry Morgan - in December of 1670 After taking El Castillo de San Lorenzo, (the fortress was conquered by Captain Joseph Brodely) Morgan and his force march across the Isthmus to Panamá without sufficient supplies. His men suffered from hunger, malaria and yellow fever, snakes, mosquitoes, ticks, alligators and all sort of problems. Some were shot at by Spanish snipers hiding in the jungle while others were killed by poison arrows fired by the Indians. After more than a week they reached Panamá City on Januay 18, 1671. The next morning the Spanish army march out to meet them. The Spanish governor, Don Guzman, had an army that consisted of  slaves and poorly trained militia with few regular soldiers. The Spanish army was quickly routed and the infantry scattered, abandoning their positions and leaving the city to the buccaneers.

Morgan found very little treasures in the city, because the citizens, warned in advance of the attack, hide most of their valuables before the buccaneers arrived. The city was set ablaze by the Governor to deny the English the pleasure of destroying the city themselves. They had also removed most of the food or burned it, denying the buccaneers of food. Morgan's stayed in the city for a month, torturing the inhabitants that stayed behind, trying to find the treasures that was hidden, and searching the surrounding countryside for fleeing citizens with their treasures. On the trip back, across the Isthmus, the pirates mutinied, and Morgan, got away with most of the booty, he was able to find.

During this expedition, Morgan's chronicler wrote that there were "two-thousand houses of magnificent and prodigious building inhabited by very rich merchants and five thousand house more, occupied by persons of lesser quality and tradesmen". Historians do not believe that Panamá, at one time, had 7,000 houses. They believe that the larges population they ever had, was about 10,000 inhabitants.

1674 The new city Panamá is establishes by Don Alonso Mercado de Villacorta. It is located 8 kilometers from the destroyed city of Panamá, on a rocky peninsula at the foot of Ancon Hill. The new city is surrounded by a wall from 6 to 12 meters high and 3.5 meters wide. It had bastions and watch-towers about every 100 meters along the wall, and had a moat in front of the wall. There were 3 massive gates with draw-bridges allowing access to the city.
1675 Captain La Sound, French buccaneer, cross the Isthmus and attacked the town of Chepo. The towns garrison was able to repulse the attack, and was not captured.
1678 French buccaneer, Captain Bournano, crossed the Isthmus and attacked and plundered the town of Chepo.
1679 The town of Chepo was plundered and burned by Spanish pirates, Juan Guartem, Eduardo Blomar, & Bartolomé Charpes.
1679 - 1680 Captain Bartholomew Sharp, Captain Coxon, Captain Sawkins, Captain Lionel Wafer, Captain William Dampier - a large group of pirates that formed an alliance to plunder Panamá. Bartholomew lead a group of pirates that  ravaged Porto Bello in 1679. They then were joined by San Blas, and Darien Indians and the other pirates to form a force to attack Panamá. They landed in April 5, 1680 and started marching to Santa Maria, which was the store house of gold, mined in Panamá. They were joined by more Indian allies, as the went They took Santa Maria, then marched across the Isthmus, to the Gulf of San Miguel. They attacked and captured some ships and went to Perico Island, where they captured and burned some more ships. They plundered the coast, and took many ships, and formed a blockade of Panamá, before they went home, never attacking Panamá.
1698 - 1699 New Edinburgh (First Attempt) - a group of 1,200 settlers sailed from Leith, Scotland on July 26, 1698. They are led by William Patterson a Scott, landed in Darien on November 3rd, called the area Caledonia, and built a town they called New Edinburgh. After loosing one quarter of the settlers to diseases and misfortune, discouraged and not able to adjust to the heat and humidity of the tropics. they left for Scotland via New York on June 20, 1699.
1699 - 1700 New Edinburgh (Second Attempt) - the expedition consisted of 1,300 settlers and they reached Caledonia Bay on November 30th. Some of the settlers from the first expedition turned back, and joined the expedition. Captain Alexander Campbell, the appointed Governor of Caledonia, took a small force of men, to attack and defeated a force of Spaniards that was approaching the colony. On February 25th, a fleet of 11 Spanish ships blocked the port and more troops, arrived overland from Panamá. The Scots were so discouraged, suffering from diseases, and gave up, and agreed to return to Scotland and sailed away on April 11, 1700. This ended the second attempt by the Scots to colonize Darien.
1700 New Edinburgh (Third Attempt) - commanded by Patrick MacDowall, they arrived in Caledonia on March 9, 1700, and found the Spanish in control of the area. They fired a few cannon shots at the Spanish, and rapidly sailed back home. This was the third and last attempt to establish a Scottish colony in Darien.
1739 Vice-Admiral Edward Vernon - with a fleet of six ships, 2,735 men and 370 cannons, sailed into Porto Bello at dawn on November 21, 1739. From daylight to dark, a battle was fought between the British ships and the Spanish forts. After sustaining point blank bombardment, the city, the fortifications, and the ships in the harbor surrendered. Nobody was harmed, after the surrender, nor the town pillaged. They did take, 10,000 pesos. The British removed all ammunitions, took the best cannons they found then they demolished the fortifications that had not been destroyed by their bombardment and destroyed the remaining cannons. 
1810 - 1813 On July 20, 1810, the citizens of Bogotá created the first representative council to defy Spanish authority. Total independence was proclaimed in 1813. Panamá was not represented at this Congress in early 1811, since the governor refused to send delegates, since he was a Spaniard first, and then Colombian.
1812 Benito Perez, the new viceroy of Nueva Granada arrived in America in February of 1812, he was prevented from assuming his seat in Bogotá, which was held by the revolutionaries. He was forced to move himself and his Audiencia to Porto Bello, and then to Panamá. 
1819 - 1830 Republic of Gran Colombia was formed in December of 1819 after Simón Bolívar and Santander defeated the Spanish forces under the command of Barreiro, at Boyacá in August of 1819. The new republic included all of New Granada which consisted of Venezuela, Colombia and Panamá with Ecuador joining the union after 1822 when it finally expelled its Spanish rulers. Panamá became one of the Departments of the new state and was divided into two provinces, Panamá and Veragua..
1829 Venezuela seceded from the Republic of Gran Colombia.
1830 Ecuador seceded from the Republic of Gran Colombia.
1831 Republic of New Granada is formed, constituted by the Colombia of today and the Isthmus of Panamá.
1831 - 1832 Colonel Alzuru attempted to separate from Colombia, and a large force of Colombian troops were sent to Panamá to put down the rebellion. Alzuru was defeated, captured, tried, and executed in Panamá. A second attempt for separation was started in 1832, put was quickly put down.
1840 El Estado del Istmo de Panamá - with the chaotic state of affairs in Nueva Granada, Panamá and Veragua declared themselves independent from Nueva Granada and called themselves, the State of the Isthmus of Panamá. They elected a president and vice-president and started to form a government.
1841 With the threat of a forceful attack from Bogotá, Panamá re-joined the state of Nueva Granada
1849 - 1855 Panamá Railroad - was constructed by a group of American (USA) investors and engineers, after securing a contract from the government of Nueva Granada. They railroad connect the town of Aspinwall, on the Atlantic with Panamá City on the Pacific. Aspinwall was later renamed, Colon. They are given the credit of constructing the first intercontinental railroad in the world.
1849 - 1869 The Argonauts - is the word used to refer to the Forty-Niners that used the Panamá Route to reach the California, after the discovery of gold at Sutters Mill in 1848.
1851 - 1855 Isthmian Guard - with the inflow of a large amount of people crossing the Isthmus, going and coming from the gold fields of California, a large number of criminals and desperados were attracted to the Isthmus. The Panamá Railroad Company, prominent citizens and foreign businessmen, organized a force to control the problem, since Colombia was not doing anything to protect them. They hired a former Texas Ranger by the name of Randolph Runnels and gave him a free hand to taking care of all those committing illegal acts. After catching some of the criminals and executing them, the rest of the desperados, quickly left the country. After Nueva Granada was able to protect, life and property, the Isthmus Guard was dissolved.
1855 - Present The Republic of Colombia is formally established, four years after the abolition of slavery.
1856 Watermelon War - April 15, 1856 This was a riot that occurred in Panamá City, when an Argonaut, traveling through the Isthmus, stole a slice of watermelon and refused to pay for it. About 17 people lost their lives, and another 30 were wounded.
1875 Société Civile Internationale du Canal Interocéanique is formed in Paris to acquire the rights to build a canal through Panamá.
1878 Lieutenant Lucien Napoleon Bonaparte Wyse obtained the exclusive privilege of constructing a canal across the Isthmus of Panamá on May 18, 1878. This concession, recognized the existing arrangement with the Panamá Railroad Company. The concession was to last for ninety-nine years allowed two years for the formation of the company, and twelve years for the construction of the canal.
1879 Compagni Universelle du Canal Interocéanique de Panamá was formed to take over the concession obtained by Wyse, with an initial capital of $60,000,000 to construct the Canal between Colon and Panamá City on May 15, 1879. Ferdinand de Lesseps, was the made the head of the company. 
1880 - 1888 On January 1, 1880, the construction of the Canal was formally started with much fan-fare. The real work was not started until February of 1881, when the engineering staff arrived at the site. The construction for a sea-level canal, is what de Lesseps, considered to the most practical and best.
1885 On March 30, 1885, the town of Colon was burned to the ground by Pedro Pestran.
1887 - 1888 It became evident that a sea-level canal was impracticable within the time and funds available for the job. In December, 1888, the company suspends payment of its debt, and declares that it is bankrupt. 
1889 The Compagni Universelle du Canal Interocéanique de Panamá is dissolved by the court on February 4, 1889, and a receiver was appointed. The company had spent $262,000,000 in 8½ years, and less than one-quarter of the canal had been built. The receiver suspends the work in May of 1889, and sets out to salvage what ever he can, for the project.
1890 The receiver is able to get a 10 year extension to their concession, from the Colombian government.
1893 The receiver gets another extension is received from Colombia with the understanding that the canal would be completed by October 31, 1904
1893 Ferdinand de Lesseps was condemned to five years imprisonment for embezzlement. Due to his age and prestige, he is allowed to serve his sentence at home, and is never sent to prison. Many officers of the company are tried, some convicted and either fined or jail, some committed suicide, rather then face the disgrace.
1894 In May of 1894, the new Panamá Canal Company (Compagnie Nouvelle du Canal de Panamá) is established with a capital of $10,000,000 
1899 - 1902 War of a Thousand Days - was a Colombian Civil War between the Conservadores and Liberales and it was fought mostly in Panamá and cost an estimated 100,000 lives. Whole armies were moved from Colombia to Panamá, to do battle. There was a lot of Panamánians involved, due to the politics, between the two political parties.
1903 - Present Panamá Independence from Colombia on November 3, 1903. The new country is called the Republic of Panamá.
1903 Philippe Bunau Varilla - Minister Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Panamá, signs the Hay-Bunau Varilla Treaty in Washington on November 18, 1903.

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September 15, 2002