Exploration of the Valley of the Amazon

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Taylor & Maury, 1853 - Amazon River Valley - 414 pages
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Exploration of the valley of the Amazon, 1851-1952

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Herndon, a U.S Navy captain, was ordered by the government to explore the Amazon in 1851 and write down his observations. Within a year he and his group had traveled more than 4000 miles by canoe, by ... Read full review

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Way hard read because of the style. A plodding look at what once was the Amazon Basin. Read full review

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Page 369 - The castled crag of Drachenfels * Frowns o'er the wide and winding Rhine, Whose breast of waters broadly swells Between the banks which bear the vine, And hills all rich with blossom'd trees, And fields which promise corn and wine, And scatter'd cities crowning these. Whose far white walls along them shine, Have strew'da scene, which I should see With double joy wert thou with me.
Page 364 - ... grant any favor, privilege, or immunity whatever, in matters of commerce and navigation, to other nations, which shall not be also immediately extended to the citizens of the other contracting party, who shall enjoy the same, gratuitously, if the concession shall have been gratuitous, or on giving a compensation as nearly as possible of proportionate value and effect, to be adjusted by mutual agreement, if the concession shall have been conditional.
Page 347 - Indians, provided with harpoons and long slender reeds, surround the pool closely ; and some climb upon the trees, the branches of which extend horizontally over the surface of the water. By their wild cries, and the length of their reeds, they prevent the horses from running away and reaching the bank of the pool. The eels, stunned by the noise, defend themselves by the repeated discharge of their electric batteries.
Page 347 - The mules and horses appear less frightened; their manes are no longer bristled, and their eyes express less dread. The gymnoti approach timidly the edge of the marsh, where they are taken by means of small harpoons, fastened to long cords.
Page 178 - ... in a troubled sea, I was reminded of our Mississippi at its topmost flood ; the waters are quite as muddy and quite as turbid ; but this stream lacked the charm and the fascination which the plantation upon the bank, the city upon the bluff, and the steamboat upon its waters, lend to its fellow of the North; nevertheless, I felt pleased at its sight. I had already travelled seven hundred miles by water, and fancied that this powerful stream would soon carry me to the ocean ; but the water-travel...
Page 346 - To catch the gymnoti with nets is very difficult, on account of the extreme agility of the fish, which bury themselves in the mud like serpents.
Page 346 - We found it difficult to form an idea of this extraordinary manner of fishing; but we soon saw our guides return from the savannah, which they had been scouring for wild horses and mules. They brought about thirty with them, which they forced to enter the pool. The extraordinary noise caused by the horses' hoofs makes the fish issue from the mud, and excites them to combat.
Page 339 - The common sentiment of the civilized world is against the renewal of the African slave trade ; therefore must Brazil turn elsewhere for the compulsory labor necessary to cultivate her lands. Her Indians will not work. Like the llama of Peru, they will die sooner than do more than is necessary for the support of their being. I am under the impression that, were Brazil to throw off a causeless jealousy, and a puerile fear of our people, and invite settlers to the Valley of the Amazon, there might...
Page 237 - Knight Pensioner of the Royal and Distinguished Spanish Order of Charles the Third, Member of the Supreme Assembly of the said Royal Order; of the Council of His Catholic Majesty; his Secretary, with Exercise of Decrees, and His Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary near the United States of America.
Page 347 - ... extremities. The horses are probably not killed, but only stunned. They are drowned from the impossibility of rising amid the prolonged struggle between the other horses and the eels.

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