A very liberal portion of that American Panama fund probably went to H.B. Slaven, who retired from the retail drug business in San Francisco to "construct" the canal. He found that there was one way of making even more money than by selling one drop of carbolic acid in three ounces of water for seventy-five cents-- the digging of the ditch with French money, and he now talks disrespectfully of the drug business. He has been known to boast that he could make as much in a day out of the ditch digging business as a "plumber and assistant" on the day after a snow storm. This superlative statement of the case will enable Tacomans to understand where a large share of the American 12,000,000 francs went to.
Tacoma (Washington) Daily News, February 1, 1893.