Roosevelt & Rondon

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     Colonel Roosevelt and Colonel Rondon Aboard the NYOAC
roosevelt_and_rondon_aboard_the_nyoac.jpg Reallogs grows, harvests & processes Merchant & Engineer Grade Eucalyptus timber used for infrastructure: utility poles, agriculture fencing, corrals, gates, mining, and heavy construction, throughout the eastern half of Brazil. A magnificent story, taught to every schoolchild in Brazil, serves as an inspiration to our endeavors.

Candido Mariano Da Silva Rondon, a military engineer, was a Colonel in the Brazilian Army in 1907 when he was given “O Comissão de Linhas Telegráficas Estratégica de Mato Grasso ao Amazonas” -the Strategic Telegraph Commission to establish a telegraph network across most of western Brazil including the Northwestern Amazon Basin, one of the greatest civil engineering tasks of the 20th Century, one that perhaps dwarfs any similar endeavor undertaken by the United States.

Rondon was tasked with knitting together a loosely confederated young nation, exploring vast unmapped and dangerous territory, to implement the new Republic’s policies among the countless tribes of fierce and independent indigenous people who lived in Northwest Brazil. His motto in dealing with these people: “To die, if necessary, to kill, never.” Himself of indigenous heritage, he worked courageously, against unimaginable odds, hardship, disease, adverse, early impenetrable terrain, and succeeded largely in his mission.

US President Theodore Roosevelt, an avid naturalist, joined Rondon in 1913 to locate and explore the Rio da Dúvida- the “River of Doubt” then believed to be a remote tributary of the Amazon River. The fearless Roosevelt nearly died; the hardy and resourceful Rondon saved his life more than once. Roosevelt, still ill from his exploration, returned to the United States to share and his geographic discoveries with incredulous members of The Explorers Club at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Weakened from illness and an injury sustained during his journey, he died shortly thereafter.

Marshal Rondon was one of the greatest explorers of the 20th century, a hero, a noble soldier, one of the most important engineers and surveyors in Brazilian history, founder of the Serviço de Proteção ao Índio (SPI- “Indian Protection Service”) and considered the “Father of Brazilian Telecommunications.” He was nominated for the Nobel Prize. The western state of Rondonia is named after him. He lived to be 92, died 1958 in Rio de Janeiro.

Through their efforts, Rio da Dúvida is now known to be tributary to the Aripuanã, tributary to the Madeira, tributary to the Amazon, and is now named “Roosevelt River.” A tribute to the cooperation of America and Brazil.

Their incredible adventures, which essentially began the development of the infrastructure of the telephone/telegraph/utility poles in Brazil, can be found in three wonderful books that are worth reading: “Through the Brazilian Wilderness”, by Pres. Theodore Roosevelt; “Stringing Together a Nation”, by Todd Diacon and “The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey.” by Candice Millard.



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