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sábado, 1 de abril de 2017

Exploration of the Valley of the Amazon - William Lewis Herndon


Exploration of the Valley of the Amazon 

by William Lewis Herndon e Gary Kinder. 3 ed. 2000




HERNDON, W. L.; KINDER, G. Exploration of the Valley of the Amazon: 1851 - 1852.  New York: Grove Press, 2000. 343 ISBN 978-0802137043



In 1857, Captain William Lewis Herndon sacrificed his life trying to save 600 passengers and crew when his ship foundered in a hurricane off the Carolina coast. Memorialized in Gary Kinder's best-selling book Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea, Herndon, with this final courageous act, epitomized a lifetime of heroism. Seven years earlier, the secretary of the Navy had appointed Herndon to lead the first American expedition into the Amazon Valley. Herndon departed Lima, Peru, on May 20, 1851, and arrived at Para, Brazil, nearly a year later, traveling 4,000 miles by foot, mule, canoe, and small boat. He cataloged the scientific and commercial observations requested by Congress, but he filed his report as a narrative, creating an intimate portrait of an exotic land before the outside world rushed in. Herndon's report so far surpassed his superiors' expectations that instead of printing the obligatory few hundred copies for Congress, the secretary of the Navy ordered 10,000 copies in the first print run; three months later, he ordered 20,000 more. Herndon described his adventures with such insight, such compassion and wit, and such literary grace that he came to symbolize the new spirit of exploration and discovery sweeping mid-nineteenth-century America. For the next hundred years, Herndon's report languished out of print before being revived briefly in 1951. Now, for the first time in nearly fifty years, Gary Kinder and Grove Press bring to readers one of the greatest chronicles of travel and exploration ever written.

Editorial Reviews  From Library Journal
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 mule, and often on foot at the peril of disease, hostiles, and being chomped by snakes (and today's trekkers carp because they can't plug in their hair dryers). His notes proved so marvelously written that the Secretary of the Navy ordered 10,000 copies printed. They went fast, and 20,000 more followed. 

About the Author
Herndon sacrificed his life in 1857, trying to save six hundred passengers and crew when his ship, the Central America, foundered in a hurricane off the Carolina coast. Naval officers erected a monument to his memory, which still stands at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Exploration of the Valley of the Amazon 

by William Lewis Herndon e  Lardner Gibbon. 1 ed. 1853










1853. First Edition. HERNDON, William Lewis and GIBBON, Lardner. Exploration of the Valley of the Amazon, Made under Direction of the Navy Department. Washington: Robert Armstrong; A.O.P. Nicholson, 1853-54. Three volumes. Octavo, original blind-stamped plum cloth. First edition, mixed Senate and House issues, of this fascinating and richly illustrated narrative of South American exploration, with 52 tinted lithographs and 38 in-text wood engravings, accompanied by scarce portfolio volume of three folding maps tracing Herndon’s passage through the Andes and descent along the Amazon.After serving in the United States Naval Observatory, Lt. William Lewis Herndon was sent to the South Pacific and in 1850 was chosen to lead a "Pacific squadron to return through South America via the Amazon Valley," an expedition planned in hopes of colonizing the region with slaveowners, thus eradicating slavery from the southern states, and as a means of preventing English merchants from establishing a cotton-producing industry along the river. Herndon left for Lima in January 1851, where it was decided he would approach the Amazon through Peru and Gibbon through Bolivian tributaries. After difficult passage through Peru, Herndon’s expedition reached Tingo Maria, at the confluence of the Monzon and Huallaga Rivers, and on September 25, 1851, "boats were fitted with decks and coverings, the American flag was raised and the Amazon was entered." Herndon completed his descent of the Amazon in January 1851 and "after a month sailed for the United States. Herndon’s report, and that of Gibbon, who had successfully descended the Madeira and Amazon, provided a wealth of information" (Howgego, 283). Herndon submitted his complete survey to Congress on January 26, 1853. It contains "minute, accurate and very interesting accounts of the aborigines of the Andes, and the Amazon and its tributaries" (Sabin 31524) and was "instrumental in helping to open up the Amazon River to merchant ships of all nations" (DAB). Narrative of Volume I by Herndon, Volume II by Gibbon. With separate portfolio volume of three engraved folding maps to accompany Herndon’s account, containing: Valley of the Amazon, partially color-outlined and measuring 19 by 24-1/2 inches; Plan del curso de los Rios Huallaga y Ucayli y del la Pampa del Sacramento, measuring 11-1/2 by 17 inches, and Map of the Rivers Huallaga, Ucayli & Amazon, measuring 27 by 60 inches. H


This American expedition was first proposed by the prominent oceanographer Matthew F. Maury. He urged North American plantation owners to emigrate to the Amazon valley with their slaves to seek their fortunes. He also advocated opening the Amazon to international commerce. Maury was the brother-in-law of Lt. Herndon, a naval officer. The expedition was organized by the U.S. Navy Department and sent out to South America in the Years 1851 and 1852. The Americans traveled to Chile and to Lima, Peru, where Lt. Herndon pushed into the upper Amazon. Lt. Gibbon traveled south through Bolivia and then into the selvas of Brazil. The two groups met in Serpa, Brazil, and then continued down the Amazon River to Para. Herndon was later lost with his ship, Central America, off Cape Hatteras, in 1857. 

The work itself is a minute, accurate, and very interesting study on the aborigines of the Andes and on the geography of the Amazon and its tributaries. (Hill pg. 284), Size : 8vo, 52 lithographed plates and 5 folding maps. The folding maps are usually found in two separate volumes but have been inserted into the this example., Volume : 2 volumes, References : Sabin 31524; Hill 803, Volume 1. P. 1-15, blank (2), frontis, title, blank, 3-414, blank (2), i-iii, plate listing; Volume 2. P. frontis, title, blank, iii-x, (1), 1-339

2 comentários:

  1. No decorrer do século XIX o governo americano através das frotas de sua marinha de guerra acumulou enormes quantidades de informações que culminaram em aprofundados conhecimentos sobre a América Latina. Essas informações baseadas em mapeamentos, forneceram inúmeros dados que proporcionaram análises de cunho científico sobre as costas das Américas e, neste caso, informações sobre as bacias hidrográficas do Amazonas e do Prata. Aproximadamente a partir de 1838 a marinha dos USA comandou várias expedições à América Latina, viagens essas detalhadamente documentadas através de relatórios em diários de navegação. Toda essa gama de documentos foi levada ao conhecimento de vários órgãos governamentais, americanos e posteriormente (creio eu vendidos...) a alguns governos europeus de maior afinidade dos USA. Talvez, o conflito armado ocorrido entre o sul escravagista e o norte federalista, em território americano, por mais incrível que possa parecer, tornou-se praticamente um divisor de águas para os objetivos americanos no que se refere a realização dessas expedições pelos quatro ventos do mundo. Isto é, expedições antes e pós a Guerra Civil americana. As viagens anteriores ao conflito visavam a América do Sul, uma região ainda tida como quase que completamente desconhecida.Viagens posteriores voltaram-se para a América Central, área essa bem mais conhecida, devido à intervenções militares nessa região e durante outros conflitos, como a guerra Hispano-Americana e, por conseguinte, o domínio americano que cobriu, também, algumas ilhas do Caribe. Esse redirecionamento à América Central baseava-se principalmente em busca de solucionar um problema meramente geográfico ou seja a construção de uma passagem para o outro lado do planeta através do oceano. Isso evitaria as gigantescas rotas dos navios mercantes e mesmo de frotas navais militares obrigatoriamente através do longínquo, traiçoeiro e temido Cabo Horn, a única passagem para o Pacífico, no extremo sul da América do Sul. Não são necessários muita imaginação, muito menos raciocínio, para deduzir que tudo isso culminaria na construção do Canal do Panamá.

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  2. (Continuação):
    A expedição sob o comando do capitão William Lewis Herndon, foi uma daquelas realizadas anteriormente à Guerra Civil. Como uma das viagens efetivadas em tempos de paz, era tida como oficial, aprovada pelo congresso dos Estados Unidos e teve cunho científico. Herndon, indicado por seu cunhado, Mathew Maury, um cientista que comandava o Observatório Naval da marinha americana, recebeu ordens para explorar totalmente o Amazonas desde as cabeceiras dos Andes, no Peru, até a sua foz no Pará. Ambos, Herndon e Maury eram sulistas.
    Eles estariam preocupados com a crescente rivalidade e divergências política e de pensamento entre o Sul e o Norte dos USA. Com essa expedição, buscavam encontrar no Amazonas um novo território para dar continuidade à política escravagista e, principalmente, tornar o Amazonas uma grande e próspera região produtora de algodão, uma atividade que já corria sérios riscos nos USA. A expedição foi aprovada pelo congresso americano que, posteriormente, entrou em contato com o governo imperial brasileiro, solicitando permissão para a realização de uma expedição de reconhecimento e estudos do Amazonas, onde seriam coletados dados científicos e de navegabilidade de seus afluentes e, também, a viabilidade econômica, incluindo a agricultura. Obviamente, as intenções de Herndon e Maury, não foram reveladas de maneira alguma a nenhum dos governos, o americano e o imperial do Brasil. Herndon, desceu o Amazonas, iniciando no Peru. Por todos os problemas e dificuldades encontrados durante a expedição, Herndon concluiu que o Amazonas, por ser uma região selvagem e por demais isolada, jamais adequaria-se a abrigar as sociedades aristocratas afeitas aos moldes sulistas americanos. Porém, muito embora os planos de Herndon, em implantar no Amazonas, os senhores e escravos sulistas americanos tenham fracassado, mesmo assim, o governo americano teve seu objetivo plenamente alcançado em função da grandiosa e fantástica quantidade de informações conseguidas, e que foram de imensurável valia, sendo utilizadas durante todo o século XIX.

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