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

Page 348

geographic work, the exploration of the unknown river, undertaken at the suggestion of the Brazilian Government, and in conjunction with its representatives. No piece of work of this kind is ever achieved save as it is based on longcontinued previous work. As I have before said, what we did was to put the cap on the pyramid that had been built by Colonel Rondon and his associates of the Telegraphic Commission during the six previous years. It was their scientific exploration of the chapadão, their mapping the basin of the Juruena, and their descent of the Gy-Paran&á that rendered it possible for us to solve the mystery of the River of Doubt. On the map facing page vii I have given the outline route of my entire South American trip. The course of the new river is given separately.
  The work of the commission, much the greatest work of the kind ever done in South America, is one of the many, many achievements which the republican government of Brazil has to its credit. Brazil has been blessed beyond the average of her Spanish-American sisters because she won her way to republicanism by evolution rather than revolution. They plunged into the extremely difficult experiment of democratic, of popular, selfgovernment, after enduring the atrophy of every quality of selfcontrol, selfreliance, and initiative throughout three withering centuries of existence under the worst and most foolish form of colonial government, both from the civil and the religious standpoint, that has ever existed. The marvel is not that some of them failed, but that some of them have eventually succeeded in such striking fashion. Brazil, on the contrary, when she achieved independence,