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

Page 166

useful assistant. Harper, who like the others worked with whole-hearted zeal and cheerfulness, also helped him, except when he was engaged in helping the naturalists. The two latter, Cherrie and Miller, had so far done the hardest and the best work of the expedition. They had collected about a thousand birds and two hundred and fifty mammals. It was not probable that they would do as well during the remainder of our trip, for we intended thenceforth to halt as little, and march as steadily, as the country, the weather, and the condition of our means of transportation permitted. I kept continually wishing that they had more time in which to study the absorbingly interesting life-histories of the beautiful and wonderful beasts and birds we were all the time seeing. Every first-rate museum must still employ competent collectors; but I think that a museum could now confer most lasting benefit, and could do work of most permanent good, by sending out into the immense wildernesses, where wild nature is at her best, trained observers with the gift of recording what they have observed. Such men should be collectors, for collecting is still necessary; but they should also, and indeed primarily, be able themselves to see, and to set vividly before the eyes of others, the full life-histories of the creatures that dwell in the waste spaces of the world.
  At this point both Cherrie and Miller collected a number of mammals and birds which they had not previously obtained; whether any were new to science could only be determined after the specimens reached the American Museum. While making the round of his small mammal traps one morning, Miller encountered an army of the formidable foraging ants. The species was a large