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

Page 327

stream, which we had just come down, was difficult to traverse; but the governmental and scientific authorities, native and foreign, remained in complete ignorance; and the rubbermen themselves had not the slightest idea of the headwaters, which were in country never hitherto traversed by civilized men. Evidently the Castanho was, in length at least, substantially equal, and probably superior, to the upper Aripuanan; it now seemed even more likely that the Anan&ás was the headwaters of the main stream than of the Cardozo. 1 For the first time this great river, the greatest affluent of the Madiera, was to be put on the map; and the understanding of its real position and real relationship, and the clearing up of the complex problem of the sources of all these lower righthand affluents of the Madiera, was rendered possible by the seven weeks of hard and dangerous labor we had spent in going down an absolutely unknown river, through an absolutely unknown wilderness. At this stage of the growth of world geography I esteemed it a great piece of good fortune to be able to take part in such a feat—a feat which represented the capping of the pyramid which during the previous seven years had been built by the labor of the Brazilian Telegraphic Commission.
  We had passed the period when there was a chance of peril, of disaster, to the whole expedition. There might be risk ahead to individuals, and some difficulties and