Theodore Roosevelt (18581919). Through the Brazilian Wilderness. 1914.
and the deadly diseases which modern science has discovered to be due very largely to insect bites. The fauna and flora, however, are of great interest. The American museum was particularly anxious to obtain collections from the divide between the headwaters of the Paraguay and the Amazon, and from the southern affluents of the Amazon. Our purpose was to ascend the Paraguay as nearly as possible to the head of navigation, thence cross to the sources of one of the affluents of the Amazon, and if possible descend it in canoes built on the spot. The Paraguay is regularly navigated as high as boats can go. The starting-point for our trip was to be Asuncion, in the state of Paraguay.
My exact plan of operations was necessarily a little indefinite, but on reaching Rio de Janeiro the minister of foreign affairs, Mr. Lauro Müller, who had been kind enough to take great personal interest in my trip, informed me that he had arranged that on the headwaters of the Paraguay, at the town of C&áceres, I would be met by a Brazilian Army colonel, himself chiefly Indian by blood, Colonel Rondon. Colonel Rondon has been for a quarter of a century the foremost explorer of the Brazilian hinterland. He was at the time in Manaos, but his lieutenants were in C&áceres and had been notified that we were coming.
More important still, Mr. Lauro Müllerwho is not only an efficient public servant but a man of wide cultivation, with a quality about him that reminded me of John Hayoffered to help me make my trip of much more consequence than I had originally intended. He has taken a keen interest in the exploration and development