| This slim booklet is a collection of two papers on Paraguay, one by Hopkins from 1852, and another more recent one. Hopkin's paper is the relevant one; it's a conference held for the Geographical Society in New York. Hopkins had a project of creating a company for steamship transportation on the rivers Parana and Paraguay, and held the conference looking for financial and political backing. After the conference the Society pressured the US government for an expedition to the area, and the outcome was the "Water Witch" expedition to the Plata (in parallel to the better known Perry expedition to Japan - Paraguay at the time was known as the Japan of South America, on account of its isolation). But in the end Hopkins could not fullfill his dream, he had a row with the government of Paraguay, was expelled, and Paraguay created a steamer service without his participation. The "Water Witch" had another incident with Paraguay in 1855, exchanged shots and suffered a casualty. Over these two incidents the USA declared war on Paraguay, and in 1859 sent south a fleet of 19 warships. Things were patched up with the help of neighboring Argentina, and no shots were fired this time. Soon after the events in the States quickly removed these far placed problems from public attention.
So the conference in this booklet is the starting point of a rather intriguing and little known sequence of events in US (and Paraguay's) history.