This is an account of a zoo-geographic reconnaissance through the Brazilian hinterland.
The official and proper title of the expedition is that given it by the Brazilian Government: Expedicao Scientifica Roosevelt- Rondon. When I started from the United States, it was to make an expedition, primarily concerned with mammalogy and ornithology, for the American Museum of Natural History of New York. This was undertaken under the auspices of Messrs. Osborn and Chapman, acting on behalf of the Museum. In the body of this work I describe how the scope of the expedition was enlarged, and how it was given a geographic as well as a zoological character, in consequence of the kind proposal of the Brazilian Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, General Lauro Muller. In its altered and enlarged form the expedition was rendered possible only by the generous assistance of the Brazilian Government. Throughout the body of the work will be found reference after reference to my colleagues and companions of the expedition, whose services to science I have endeavored to set forth, and for whom I shall always feel the most cordial friendship and regard.
THEODORE ROOSEVELT. SAGAMORE HILL, September 1, 1914
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About the Author
Roosevelt was a sickly child with debilitating asthma, but he overcame his health problems by embracing a strenuous lifestyle, as well as growing out of his asthma naturally in his young adult years. He integrated his exuberant personality, a vast range of interests, and world-famous achievements into a "cowboy" persona defined by robust masculinity. He was home-schooled, and he began a lifelong naturalist avocation before attending Harvard College. His book The Naval War of 1812 (1882) established his reputation as a learned historian and as a popular writer. Upon entering politics, he became the leader of the reform faction of Republicans in New York's state legislature. His wife and his mother both died in rapid succession, and he escaped to a cattle ranch in the Dakotas. He served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy under President William McKinley, but he resigned from that post to lead the Rough Riders during the Spanish-American War, returning a war hero. He was elected governor of New York in 1898. After Vice President Garret Hobart died in 1899, the New York state party leadership convinced McKinley to accept Roosevelt as his running mate in the 1900 election. Roosevelt campaigned vigorously, and the McKinley-Roosevelt ticket won a landslide victory based on a platform of peace, prosperity, and conservation.
Roosevelt took office as vice president in March 1901 and assumed the presidency at age 42 after McKinley was assassinated the following September. He remains the youngest person to become President of the United States. Roosevelt was a leader of the progressive movement, and he championed his "Square Deal" domestic policies, promising the average citizen fairness, breaking of trusts, regulation of railroads, and pure food and drugs. He made conservation a top priority and established many new national parks, forests, and monuments intended to preserve the nation's natural resources. In foreign policy, he focused on Central America where he began construction of the Panama Canal. He expanded the Navy and sent the Great White Fleet on a world tour to project the United States' naval power around the globe. His successful efforts to broker the end of the Russo-Japanese War won him the 1906 Nobel Peace Prize. He avoided controversial tariff and money issues. Roosevelt was elected to a full term in 1904 and continued to promote progressive policies, many of which were passed in Congress. He groomed his close friend William Howard Taft to successfully succeed him in the 1908 presidential election.
Table of Contents
Chapter I The Start 1
Chapter II Up the Paraguay 38
Chapter III A Jaguar-Hunt on the Taquary 62
Chapter IV The Headwaters of the Paraguay 95
Chapter V Up the River of Tapirs 132
Chapter VI Through the Highland Wilderness of Western Brazil 167
Chapter VII With a Mule-Train Across Nhambiquara Land 203
Chapter VIII The River of Doubt 243
Chapter IX Down an Unknown River into the Equatorial Forest 282
Chapter X To the Amazon and Home; Zoological and Geographical Results of the Expedition 321
A The Work of the Field Zoologist and Field Geographer in South America 343
B The Outfit for Travelling in the South American Wilderness 353
C My Letter of May I to General Lauro Müller 370