Many European nations attempted New World colonies during the 17th century, but odds are that you have never heard of Scotland's attempt at imperialism. Unfortunately for the Scottish colonists, the colonial effort was placed in one of the harshest environments in the Americas, the jungles of Panama. Even today, the area (known as the Darien Gap) is one of the most dangerous places in the Western Hemisphere. Images that make it out of the Darien Gap show the remnants of abandoned buildings and a century old railroad mostly consumed by the dense Jungle. The Pan-American Highway, stretching from Alaska to the tip of South America, is entirely complete with only the exception of the Darien Gap, and the area is so inhospitable that no plans are currently underway to complete it. The maps of this location are rare and fascinating. The Osher Map Library has an original map from 1699 showing the short-lived Scottish settlement near the Darien Gap: http://www.oshermaps.org/map/1853.0001. Another fascinating map of the area is http://www.oshermaps.org/map/1836.0001.
For More Information about Scotland's settlement in Panama and/or the Darien Gap:
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