Page images
[ocr errors]

Courtesy of Charles Scribner's Sons Roosevelt in South America on the expedition which explored and mapped the "River of Doubt," now the Rio Téodoro.-Roosevelt's books covering his explorations and his observations on animal life were written in the field, which in large measure accounts for their accuracy and vividness. (He is here shown protected from fever-carrying insects by gloves and a mosquito net helmet)



Courtesy of Charles Scribner's Sons The canoes of Roosevelt and Colonel Rondon on the “River of Doubt" at the junction of a large tributary, the Bandeira

Theodore Roosevelt, Naturalist




life as

OOSEVELT spent the first years joved as much of life as any nine other

of his life and the last years men I know; I have had my full share,

as a naturalist, and it chanced and if it is necessary for me to leave my that he was in close touch with the remains in South America, I am quite American Museum at both ends of his ready to do so.” Although more pruwonderful career. In the range of his dent plans prevailed, and we finally

a naturalist, as an observer, determined upon a route which resulted traveler, explorer, writer, and last but in the discovery of the Rio Roosevelt, not least, a biological philosopher, as in yet the exposure, the excessively moist the range of his work over the vast climate, and the dearth of food, clothfields of history, of government, and of ing, and supplies, very nearly cost international relations, his service was Theodore Roosevelt his life. stupendous; and now that we are able It was Roosevelt's warm sentiment to look at his life as a whole, we realize for his native city and the survival of that he was not one man, but many

the memories of his boyhood education great men, many personalities, com- as an ornithologist, so delightfully debined and harmonized into one,-all scribed by himself in the pages of the impelled by indomitable will and de- JOURNAL, which brought him back into termination, all inspired by idealism,

relation with the American Museum, all warmed and humanized by the most after he had, by means of his two years loving and sympathetic temperament. in Africa, completed his magnificent

This manifold ability and multiple service to our National Museum at nature came out in the course of his Washington immediately on leaving the plans for a great expedition to South presidency. America, projected in the spring of In planning the South American 1913 and executed between October, journey, as in planning that to Africa, 1913, and June, 1914. He had selected he prepared with the utmost intellian unknown and particularly dangerous gence and thoroughness for what he region, where the native tribes had knew would be a hazardous trip, even never been thoroughly subdued by the after all precautions had been taken. Brazilian Government. He marked out With the trained assistance of his son this region as his first choice for a Kermit Roosevelt, with the South South American expedition, but I sent American experience and stalwart courword to him through Dr. Frank M. age of Mr. George K. Cherrie, and with Chapman, who was representing us in

the devoted and most intelligent comthese plans, that I would never consent panionship of Colonel Candido Mariano to his going to this particular region da Silva Rondon and Mr. Leo E. under the American Museum flag; that Miller, this expedition developed into I would not even assume part of the re- the most important that has ever gone sponsibility for what might happen in from North into South America. As a case he did not return alive. With result of this expedition through Parasmile he sent back a characteristic

"My Life as a Naturalist," AMERICAN MUSEUM word: "I have already lived and en- JOURNAL, May, 1918,


guay and the wilderness of Brazil, more Africa from Sclater to Selous. He than 450 mammal and 1375 bird speci- knew not only the genera and species, mens were added to the American Mu- but the localities where particular speseum's collections, in addition to the cies and subspecies were to be found. geographic results which aroused such a I remember at a conference with Africhorus of discussion and diversity of can great game hunters at Oyster Bay, opinion. Roosevelt was so impressed where were assembled at luncheon all with the importance of continuing this the Americans that he could muster exploration, that on his return he per- who had actually explored in Africa, a sonally contributed $2000 from his lit- question arose regarding the locality of erary earnings, to send his companion a particular subspecies, Grévy's zebra naturalists back to the field. The Mu- (Equus grevyi foai). Roosevelt went seum accordingly sent Messrs. Leo E. to the map, pointed out directly the Miller and Howarth Boyle to Colombia particular and only spot where this suband Bolivia, and Mr. Cherrie to the species could be found, and said that he marshes of Paraguay, to continue the did not think the expedition could poswork of the first Roosevelt Expedition. sibly get down in that direction. This

An American statesman, who should was but one instance among hundreds have known better, has recently charac- not only of his marvelous memory but terized Roosevelt as "one who knew a

also of his thoroughness of preparalittle about more things than anyone

tion. else in this country.” This gives an We shall have a memorial of Theoentirely false impression of Roosevelt's dore Roosevelt, the Naturalist, in the mind. His mind was quite of a con

American Museum of Natural History. trary order; for what Roosevelt did He honored the institution by his presknow, he knew thoroughly; he went ence; he loved it and gave his inspiring to the very bottom of things, if possible; touch to many branches of its activity and no one was more conscientious or during the closing years of his life. In modest than he where his knowledge the intervals of politics, of pressing was limited or merely that of the intel- duties of every kind, he would repair ligent layman. His thorough research here for keen and concentrated discusin preparing for the African and South sions on animal coloration, or geoAmerican expeditions was not that of graphic distribution, or the history of the amateur or of the sportsman, but human races, or the evolution of some of the trained naturalist who desires to group of animals, or, perchance, the learn as much as possible from previous furtherance of some expedition. What students and explorers. During his the Roosevelt memorial shall be it is preparation for the African expedition, premature to say, except that it will I sent him from the rich stores of the certainly be a memorial to the beautiful American Museum and Osborn libraries and courageous aspect of his manifold all the books relating to the mammal character and life as a naturalist. This life of Africa. These books went in in- memorial will be such as to remind the stallments, five or six a week; as each boys and girls of all future generations installment was returned, another lot of Americans of the spirit of love, of was sent. Thus in the course of a few zeal, and of intelligence with which weeks he had read all that had been they should approach nature in any of written about the great mammals of

its wonderful aspects.

[graphic][merged small]

Rear Admiral, United States Navy, Retired; President, Aërial League of America;

Chairman, National Aërial Coast Patrol Commission


SORROWING nation pays meet tic Club Expedition to the North Polar tribute to the passing of the Regions which resulted in reaching the

greatest American of his time- Pole April 6, 1909. Theodore Roosevelt.

In 1912, at the annual dinner of the The one outstanding feature of the Explorers' Club, I ventured the prophcomplex character of Roosevelt, the ecy that in a few years the polar regions man of many parts, was his friendship would be reconnoitered and explored for man in the abstract-and when this through the air. That prophecy is friendship took concrete form for the about to be consummated. individual, it became, for its recipient, The great war has forced the devela tower of strength as fortifying and as opment of the science of aëronautics impregnable as Gibraltar.

and aircraft to that point where no porThe friendship of Theodore Roose- tion of the globe exists today that canvelt was indeed a most precious posses- not be visited and explored by either sion. Whenever and wherever extended, plane or dirigible. It is indeed a fitit had the effect of a superlative super- ting tribute to Colonel Roosevelt's earincentive to greater deeds-a step by nest support of aëronautics, at all times, step advancement, onward and upward, that the Bartlett Arctic Expedition, never permitting a retrogression. promulgated and organized through the

I make the following statement with- efforts of the Aëro Club of America, out fear of successful contradiction, should be known as "The Roosevelt that no other single personality in this Memorial Expedition." great world of ours today has gathered Colonel Roosevelt was a veteran supfrom such a multitude, from all quar- porter of aëronautics. In 1897, when ters, kinds, and conditions of life, the he was Assistant Secretary of the Navy, utmost in spontaneous affection that

he used his influence to secure the nechas been accorded him during his years essary appropriation needed by Profesof contact with a world's people.

sor Langley to continue his plans for Thousands upon thousands, in all aviation. Colonel Roosevelt was also parts of the world, became his friend responsible for giving the United States through the magnetic personality of his Army an aëroplane before any other written words, which have reached to nation had one. In 1907 he approved the uttermost extremes of enlightened the ordering of a biplane and a diricivilization all over the globe.

gible. Inestimable tribute should be paid to Scientific results of inestimable value Colonel Roosevelt's memory for the ad- to the United States and to the whole vice and support, given when President world are directly traceable to Rooseof the United States, to the Peary Arc- velt's friendship for man.

Theodore Roosevelt and Africa





ROM field naturalists who knew camp in the morning, we picked up the
Roosevelt he always received trail of a small herd of elephants, and

profound and unstinted admira- as they were easily tracked through the tion; they knew that his greatest pleas- grass, we moved very rapidly. At about ure lay in seeing and learning; that he eleven o'clock, while we were following found infinite joy in studying wild ani- the trail quite casually, someone in admal life in its native haunts; that he vance heard a sound which resulted in had the observing eye and keen mind of our coming to a standstill. We made a the ideal naturalist.

short detour to the left, and a few minHis expedition to Africa had been utes later were looking at a small band definitely planned in his mind several of cows and calves enjoying their midyears before it actually came about. I day siesta under a clump of bush. We had returned from an expedition to advanced under cover of a large ant hill Africa late in 1907, and recall the em- to within about fifty yards, from which phasis of his words at the White House point we looked them over carefully one day as he said to me, “When I am and decided which were valuable for through with this job, I am going to our scientific purpose. Africa.”

I indicated the particular cow that I I met him in Africa in 1912 on the wanted the Colonel to shoot for the Uasin Gishu Plateau. It was morning American Museum group. Of course and our American Museum Expedition at this distance from the elephants we was marching toward the N'Zoia River, could speak only in lowest whispers and when one of the boys called my atten- every move was guarded. I waited for tion to a safari two miles or so to the the Colonel to take a shot, expecting south. With the thought that it might him to do this from behind the ant hill possibly be the Roosevelt Expedition, I where we were afforded a splendid prosent a runner to make inquiry, while tection against a charge, but he started we proceeded to the banks of the river forward toward the elephants and I, and made camp. The runner soon re- with Kermit, was obliged to follow turned, stating that he had met a run- closely. My impulse was to tell him ner halfway, that it was the Roosevelt that I wanted him to shoot the COW party, and that they were going into and not “take her alive!" He continued camp on the edge of the marsh not far to go steadily forward, however, intendfrom where we had seen them.

ing to get so close that there could be When our camp was made, we started no doubt of the effectiveness of his out on our horses in the direction of the shot; but the elephants suddenly began marsh, but when about halfway met the moving in our direction, at which he Colonel with Kermit, and two others of promptly fired. This did not stop their his party. We all returned to our camp advance, but rather accelerated it inand a good part of the afternoon was stead, so that quick action was necesspent making arrangements for an ele- sary. When we got through we had phant hunt for the next day.

four dead elephants. Within an hour or two after leaving All of the party, except the Colonel

« PreviousContinue »