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  1. The Apollo Expeditions
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Bushnell, of Williams College. Nearly the entire region traversed by the expedition is strangely misrepresented by the most recent geographical works. Many of the following pages first appeared in the New York Evening Post. These papers have been revised and extended, though the popular form has been retained. It has been the effort of the writer to present a condensed but faithful picture of the physical aspect, the resources, and the inhabitants of this vast country, which is destined to become an important field for commercial enterprise.

For detailed descriptions of the collections in natural history, the scientific reader is referred to the various reports of the following gentlemen, to whom the specimens were committed by the Smithsonian Institution:. The Map of Equatorial America was drawn with great care after original observations and the surveys of Humboldt and Wisse on the Andes, and of Azevedo, Castlenau, and Bates on the Amazon. Most of the illustrations are after photographs or drawings made on the ground, and can be relied upon.

The portrait of Humboldt, which is for the first time presented to the public, was photographed from the original painting in the possession of Sr. Aguirre, Quito. Unlike the usual portrait—an old man, in Berlin—this presents him as a young man in Prussian uniform, traveling on the Andes. We desire to express our grateful acknowledgments to the Smithsonian Institution, Hon. William H. Seward, and Hon. James A.

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Garfield, of Washington; to Cyrus W. Field, Esq. William Jameson, of the University of Quito; to J. Reeve, Esq. In this day of many voyages, in the Old World and the New, it is refreshing to find an untrodden path. Central Africa has been more fully explored than that region of Equatorial America which lies in the midst of the Western Andes and upon the slopes of these mountain monarchs which look toward the Atlantic.

The Apollo Expeditions

In this century one can almost count upon his hand the travelers who have written of their journeys in this unknown region. Our own Herndon and Gibbon descended—the one the Peruvian and the other the Bolivian waters—the affluents of the Amazon, beginning their voyage where the streams were mere channels for canoes, and finishing it where the great river appears a fresh-water ocean. Church, the artist, made the sketches for his famous "Heart of the Andes" where the headwaters of the Amazon are rivulets.

But no one whose language is the English has journeyed down and described the voyage from the plateaux of Ecuador to the Atlantic Ocean until Professor Orton and his party accomplished this feat in Yet it was over this very route that the King of Waters as the Amazon is called by the aborigines was originally discovered. The auri sacra fames , which in urged the adventurous Gonzalo Pizarro to hunt for the fabled city of El Dorado in the depths of the South American forests, led to the descent of the great river by Orellana, a knight of Truxillo.

The fabled women-warriors were said to have been seen in this notable voyage, and hence the name of the river Amazon , a name which in Spanish and Portuguese is in the plural.

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It was not until nearly one hundred years after Orellana was in his grave that a voyage of discovery ascended the river. Two hundred years ago the result of this expedition was published.

History of Space Exploration

The Amazon was from that time, at rare intervals, the highway of Spanish and Portuguese priests and friars, who thus went to their distant charges among the Indians. The narrow policy of Spain and Portugal was most unfruitful in its results to South America.

A jealous eye guarded that great region, of which it can be so well said there are. Now, the making known to the world of any portion of these "fruitful deserts" is performing a service for the world. This Professor Orton has done. His interesting and valuable volume hardly needs any introduction or commendation, for its intrinsic merit will exact the approbation of every reader. Scientific men, and tourists who seek for new routes of travel, will appreciate it at once; and I trust that the time is near at hand when our mercantile men, by the perusal of such a work, will see how wide a field lies before them for future commercial enterprise.

This portion of the tropics abounds in natural resources which only need the stimulus of capital to draw them forth to the light; to create among the natives a desire for articles of civilization in exchange for the crude productions of the forest; and to stimulate emigration to a healthy region of perpetual summer.


It seems as if Providence were opening the way for a great change in the Valley of the Amazon. That immense region drained by the great river is as large as all the United States east of the States of California and Oregon and the Territory of Washington, and yet it has been so secluded, mainly by the old monopolistic policy of Portugal, that that vast space has not a population equal to the single city of Rio de Janeiro or of Brooklyn.

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Two million five hundred thousand square miles are drained by the Amazon. Three fourths of Brazil, one half of Bolivia, two thirds of Peru, three fourths of Ecuador, and a portion of Venezuela are watered by this river. Riches, mineral and vegetable, of inexhaustible supply have been here locked up for centuries.

Brazil held the key, but it was not until under the rule of their present constitutional monarch, Don Pedro II. Steamers were introduced in , subsidized by the government. But it is to a young Brazilian statesman, Sr. Tavares Bastos, that belongs the credit of having agitated, in the press and in the national parliament, the opening of the Amazon, until public opinion, thus acted upon, produced the desired result.

Pirates of Venus

On another occasion, in May, , I gave several indices of a more enlightened policy in Brazil, and stated that the opening of the Amazon, which occurred on the 7th of September, , and by which the great river is free to the flags of all nations, from the Atlantic to Peru, and the abrogation of the monopoly of the coast-trade from the Amazon to the Rio Grande do Sul, whereby miles of Brazilian sea-coast are open to the vessels of every country, can not fail not only to develop the resources of Brazil, but will prove of great benefit to the bordering Hispano-American republics and to the maritime nations of the earth.

The opening of the Amazon is the most significant indication that the leaven of the narrow monopolistic Portuguese conservatism has at last worked out. Portugal would not allow Humboldt to enter the Amazon Valley in Brazil.

The result of the new policy is beyond the most sanguine expectation. This is but the beginning. Soon it will be found that it is cheaper for Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, and New Granada, east of the Andes, to receive their goods from, and to export their India-rubber, cinchona, etc. Late in the evening of the 19th of July, , the steamer "Favorita" dropped anchor in front of the city of Guayaquil. The first view awakened visions of Oriental splendor. Before us was the Malecon, stretching along the river, two miles in length—at once the most beautiful and the most busy street in the emporium of Ecuador.

In the centre rose the Government House, with its quaint old tower, bearing aloft the city clock. On either hand were long rows of massive, apparently marble, three-storied buildings, each occupying an entire square, and as elegant as they were massive. Each story was blessed with a balcony, the upper one hung with canvas curtains now rolled up, the other protruding over the sidewalk to form a lengthened arcade like that of the Rue de Rivoli in imperial Paris. In this lower story were the gay shops of Guayaquil, filled with the prints, and silks, and fancy articles of England and France.

As this is the promenade street as well as the Broadway of commerce, crowds of Ecuadorians, who never do business in the evening, leisurely paced the magnificent arcade; hatless ladies sparkling with fire-flies [4] instead of [Pg 26] diamonds, and far more brilliant than koh-i-noors, swept the pavement with their long trains; martial music floated on the gentle breeze from the barracks or some festive hall, and a thousand gas-lights along the levee and in the city, doubling their number by reflection from the river, betokened wealth and civilization.

We landed in the morning to find our vision a dissolving view in the light of the rising sun. The princely mansions turned out to be hollow squares of wood-work, plastered within and without, and roofed with red tiles. Even the "squares" were only distant approximations; not a right angle could we find in our hotel. All the edifices are built very properly in this climate to admit air instead of excluding it, and the architects have wonderfully succeeded; but with the air is wafted many an odor not so pleasing as the spicy breezes from Ceylon's isle.

The cathedral is of elegant design. Its photograph is more imposing than Notre Dame, and a Latin inscription tells us that it is the Gate of Heaven. But a near approach reveals a shabby structure, and the pewless interior is made hideous by paintings and images which certainly must be caricatures. A few genuine works of art imported from Italy alone relieve the mind of the visitor.

Excepting a few houses on the Malecon, and not excepting the cathedral, the majority of the buildings have a tumble-down appearance, which is not altogether due to the frequent earthquakes which have troubled this city; while the habitations in the outskirts are exceedingly primitive, floored and walled with split cane and thatched with leaves, the first story occupied by domestic animals and the second by their owners. The city is quite regularly laid out, the main streets [Pg 27] running parallel to the river.

A few streets are rudely paved, many are shockingly filthy, and all of them yield grass to the delight of stray donkeys and goats. A number of mule-carts, half a dozen carriages, one omnibus, and a hand-car on the Malecon, sum up the wheeled vehicles of Guayaquil. The population is twenty-two thousand, the same for thirty years past.

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  8. No foreigner has had reason to complain that Guayaquilians lacked the virtues of politeness and hospitality. The ladies dress in excellent taste, and are proverbial for their beauty. Spanish, Indian, and Negro blood mingle in the lower classes. The city supports two small papers, Los Andes and La Patria , but they are usually issued about ten days behind date. The hourly cry of the night-watchman is quite as musical as that of the muezzin in Constantinople.

    At eleven o'clock, for example, they sing " Ave Maria purissima! Viva la Patria! Cathedral of Guayaquil. The full name of the city is Santiago de Guayaquil. James , ; and, secondly, after Guayas, a feudatory cacique of Atahuallpa. It was created a city by Charles V. It has suffered much in its subsequent history by fires and earthquakes, pirates and pestilence. It is situated on the right bank of the River Guayas, sixty miles from the ocean, and but a few feet above its level. Though the most western city in South America, it is only two degrees west of the longitude of Washington, and it is the same distance below the equator—Orion sailing directly overhead, and the Southern Cross taking the place of the Great Dipper.

    There are two seasons, the wet, or invierno , and the dry, or verano. The verano is called the summer, although astronomically it is winter; it begins in June and terminates in November. March is the rainiest month in the year, and July the coldest. It is at the close of the invierno May that fevers most abound.

    The climate of Guayaquil during the dry season is nearly perfect. At daybreak there is a cool easterly breeze; at sunrise a brief lull, and then a gentle variable wind; at 3 P. Notwithstanding heaps of filth and green-mantled pools, sufficient to start a [Pg 29] pestilence if transported to New York, the city is usually healthy, due in great part, no doubt, to countless flocks of buzzards which greedily wait upon decay.