The hanging of Prestan
18 Aug 1885 The hanging of Prestan in Colon apparently with PRR assistance. The scaffold is temporary and the hanging rope can be seen coming down on the right. They launched him by jerking the flat car out from under him..

Web Publisher Note: Pedro Prestan was a tiny Haitian mulatto with a deep-seated hatred for foreigners, white men and white North Americans most especially. (Read more about this famous event in "Path Between the Seas", by David McCullough)

A note provided by author and historian Andrew Parkin:

In fact Prestan was a Colombian patriot (born in Cartagena, Colombia, on May 5 1882) intent on overthrowing the dictator, Rafael Nunez. He was a lawyer and elected Deputy representing Colon in Panama's legislative assembly. I doubt he had any more hatred of white men than most blacks at a time when American slavery was a vivid memory. The Americans were widely hated in Colombia (including Panama) in those days, and were frequently referred to as "The Emperors of the North". The dictator wished to enlist American support against Prestan's popular uprising, and was keen to emphasise the anti-American attitudes of his opponents. As for hatred of foreigners, I don't think that accusation can be sustained at all, since many of Prestan's friends and followers were foreigners, and about one quarter of his rebel army were foreigners.
A starting point to find out more about the events is "Pedro Prestan Cien Anos Despues", a collection of papers from Academia Panamena de la Historia. Unfortunately these papers miss many important documents. I have dramatised a reconstruction of the events in my book "Flames of Panama" published this year by Matador Press (but with no pretence to be an academic history).  See Andrew Parkin's web site (Click Here)