Theodore Roosevelt (18581919). Through the Brazilian Wilderness. 1914.
An immense amount of this true wilderness work, geographical and zoological, remains to be done in South America. It can be accomplished with reasonable thoroughness only by the efforts of very many different workers, each in his own special field. It is desirable that here and there a part of the work should be done in outline by such a geographic and zoological reconnaissance as ours; we would, for example, be very grateful for such work in portions of the interior of the Guianas, on the headwaters of the Xingu, and here and there along the eastern base of the Andes.
But as a rule the work must be specialized; and in its final shape it must be specialized everywhere. The first geographical explorers of the untrodden wilderness, the first wanderers who penetrate the wastes where they are confronted with starvation, disease, and danger and death in every from, cannot take with them the elaborate equipment necessary in order to do the thorough scientific work demanded by modern scientific requirements. This is true even of exploration done along the courses of unknown rivers; it is more true of the exploration, which must in South America become increasingly necessary, done across country, away from the rivers.
The scientific work proper of these early explorers must be of a somewhat preliminary nature; in other words the most difficult and therefore ordinary the most important pieces of first-hand exploration are precisely those where the scientific work of the accompanying cartographer, geologist, botanist, and zoologist must be furthest removed from finality. The zoologist who works to most advantage in the wilderness must take his time, and therefore