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

Page 343

wonderful Amazon itself, the mighty river which contains one tenth of all the running water of the globe. It was miles across, where we entered it; and indeed we could not tell whether the farther bank, which we saw, was that of the mainland or an island. We went up it until about midnight, then steamed up the Rio Negro for a short distance, and at one in the morning of April 30 reached Manaos.
  Manaos is a remarkable city. It is only three degrees south of the equator. Sixty years ago it was a nameless little collection of hovels, tenanted by a few Indians and a few of the poorest class of Brazilian peasants. Now it is a big, handsome modern city, with operahouse, tramways, good hotels, fine squares and public buildings, and attractive private houses. The brilliant coloring and odd architecture give the place a very foreign and attractive flavor in northern eyes. Its rapid growth to prosperity was due to the rubbertrade. This is now far less remunerative than formerly. It will undoubtedly in some degree recover; and in any event the development of the immensely rich and fertile Amazonian valley is sure to go on, and it will be immensely quickened when closer connections are made with the Brazilian highland country lying south of it.
  Here we found Miller, and glad indeed we were to see him. He had made good collections of mammals and birds on the Gy-Paran&á, the Madeira, and in the neighborhood of Manaos; his entire collection of mammals was really noteworthy. Among them was the only sloth any of us had seen on the trip. The most interesting of the birds he had seen was the hoatzin. This is a most curious