Darien letters on loan to Panama

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Recently uncovered documents relating to a failed attempt to create a wealthy Scottish empire in the jungle are being sent to Panama for an exhibition. The 300-year-old documents are thought to be the only original, surviving letters sent from Darien.

The 17th century scheme - known as the Darien Venture - cost 2,000 lives, lost about half of the country's wealth and is said to have changed the course of Scotland's political history.

Many historians believe it also led many Scots to support the Act of Union and the abolition of the first Scottish Parliament in 1707.

Three letters written from Darien by a Scottish settler in 1699 are being loaned by the National Archives of Scotland (NAS) to the International Canal Museum in Panama.

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