Theodore Roosevelt > Through the Brazilian Wilderness > Page 157
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Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919).  Through the Brazilian Wilderness.  1914.

Page 157
 
—who is not only an exceedingly efficient naturalist and explorer in the tropics, but is also a thoroughly good citizen at home—is the chairman of the school board of the town of Newfane, in Vermont. He and the colonel, and Kermit and I, talked over school matters at length, and were in hearty accord as to the vital educational needs of both Brazil and the United States: the need of combining industrial with purely mental training, and the need of having the wide-spread popular education, which is and must be supported and paid for by the government, made a purely governmental and absolutely nonsectarian function, administered by the state alone, without interference with, nor furtherance of, the beliefs of any reputable church. The colonel is also head of the Indian service of Brazil, being what corresponds roughly with our commissioner of Indian affairs. Here also he is taking the exact view that is taken in the United States by the stanchest and wisest friends of the Indians. The Indians must be treated with intelligent and sympathetic understanding, no less than with justice and firmness; and until they become citizens, absorbed into the general body politic, they must be the wards of the nation, and not of any private association, lay or clerical, no matter how well-meaning.
  The Sepotuba River was scientifically explored and mapped for the first time by Colonel Rondon in 1908, as head of the Brazilian Telegraphic Commission. This was during the second year of his exploration and opening of the unknown northwestern wilderness of Matto Grosso. Most of this wilderness had never previously been trodden by the foot of a civilized man. Not only were careful

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