Theodore Roosevelts: Darkest Journey- The River of DoubtBy: Candice Millard. Jessica Lynn Youmans. On the 31st of October in 1912, at 5:30pm, in New YorkCity, at Madison Square Garden. There was still an hour and ahalf before the doors were supposed to open, over a hundredthousand people swarmed outside waiting for the ProgressivePartys last major rally of the Presidential Campaign. TheodoreRoosevelt was the most popular president and vowed to never runfor president again after he won his second term in 1904, but hewent back on his word and decided to run again eight years later(1912). He was no longer running as a Republican anymore, whichwas William Howard Taft, nor was he running as a democrat, whichwas Woodrow Wilson. Theodore Roosevelt decided to abandon theRepublican Party and ran as a Progressive was constantlycriticized, which was nicknamed “Bull Moose Party” in honor ofits leaded. The reason for it being criticized was not becausehe did not keep his word to not run again, but because a largeamount of people were loyal to him, therefore, both parties andsome American people felt threaten and worried about what hecould do if he was reelected again. Theodore Rooseveltstrategically scheduled this rally a week prior to electionhoping to swing the vote into his favor. Only two weeks prior Theodore Roosevelt, who has fifty fouryears old at the time, got shot at his previous speech. Theshooter was John Schrank, who feared that Theodore Roosevelt wasrunning a third term to establish a monarchy. TheodoreRoosevelt’s response to being shot was, “It takes more than that
to kill a Bull Moose” as he unbuttoned his coat and showed hisblood stained shirt. Theodore Roosevelt’s fear of losing, cametrue on the 5th of November 1921, when Woodrow Wilson won by 2.2million votes. In February 1913, Roosevelt received a letter fromArgentina, The Museu Social in Buenos Aires to be exact, whichwas an institution devoted to the kind of progressiveintellectual agenda and they wanted Theodore Roosevelt to comebe a guest speaker. Aside from Theodore Roosevelt’s political,financial, and advertisement reasons, he wanted to go see histwenty three year old son, who had been living and working inSouth America for over a year. On the morning of October 4th,1913, Theodore Roosevelt arrived at Pier Eight, in Brooklyn, NewYork. He was preparing to start his journey to South America onthe Vandyck. The prospect of Theodore Roosevelt seeing Kermit,his 3rd (out of six) child, had helped persuade him to visitSouth America. The most important person to convince wasTheodore Roosevelt’s wife, Edith. She felt, as if, she lost herson, Kermit, when he left to South America and she decided totravel with her husband and stay for the first few months tomake sure her son was okay. On October 18th, 1913, The Vandyck arrived in Bahia, Brazilwith Kermit waiting for his parents to arrive. TheodoreRoosevelt only stayed in Bahia long enough for a tour of thecity, to meet the governor, and pick up his son, because hewanted to be in Rio de Janero, which was the capital, by October
Theodore Roosevelts: Darkest Journey- The River of DoubtBy: Candice Millard. Jessica Lynn Youmans.21st for a meeting with Brazil’s Minister of Foreign Affairs,Lauro Muller. He was the one who suggested “an unknown river”named Rio da Duvida, also known as The River of Doubt, to get tothe Amazon instead of their well-thought-out plan. Lauro Mulleroffered an alternative route knowing that Theodore Rooseveltliked mysterious adventures. Theodore Roosevelt accepted, butbecause it wasn’t his original plan, he did not require his crewto stay with him, but surprisingly they choose to, because theywere loyal to Theodore Roosevelt. During this whole process,Kermit revealed that he wanted to marry Belle Wilson. WhileTheodore Roosevelt was ecstatic for his son, Edith was not. On the morning of December 12th, 1913, after about twomonths of being in South America, Theodore Roosevelt finallycompleted his official duties and could now fully give himselfentirely to his long, anticipated adventure to the Amazon. Justbefore noon on January 16th, 1914 Theodore Roosevelt, reachedTapirapoan, expecting an organized group of oxen and mulesprepared for a quick departure for The River of Doubt, but hewas shocked to see the complete opposite of that…utter chaos.Theodore Roosevelt and his men quickly found out how hard thisjourney was going to be. They did not have water for over twentymiles and they would be forced to go seventeen hours withoutfood. This became to deteriorate the condition of their mulesand oxen.
Theodore Roosevelt, Kermit Roosevelt, and his men becameeven more concerned when they found skeletons of mules and oxenthat had either starved to death or been eating during previousattempts to find the Amazon. Tension started to rise with FatherZahm and Ronda when Father Zahm, made a racist comment about oneof his men. Theodore Roosevelt decided that Father Zahm was notprepared to go through the River of Doubt, so he could continuethe trip until they reached the River of Doubt and he would be“shunted off” to a less dangerous journey.