“The Roosevelt-Rondon Expedition to explore the River of Doubt traveled overland from December 12, 1913 until February 25, 1914. Then, on February 27, 1914, the expedition started its descent of the last unexplored river of South America. It would take the crew of men into parts of the Amazon Rainforest no white man had ever seen and would take a physical and mental toll that none of the experienced crew could ever have imagined. Plagued by disease, loss of supplies and canoes and the loss of one of their own, this was the adventure which almost killed the great Bull Moose. However, deathly ill and almost beaten by the rainforest, Theodore Roosevelt made it back to New York to tell his tale. It would indeed be his last great adventure.”
Buffalo Jackson was inspired by Teddy Roosevelt’s journey through the Amazon, discovering the River of Doubt. Whether it be the pin stripe, the metal buttons or mapping details, our spring collection is a nod to Roosevelt and his explorers. We chose natural fibers such as cotton and linen which are breathable and known for moisture absorption. These fibers are commonly used in warm weather climates because of their ability to keep cool. This apparel is for the explorer who respects timeless details. Wear this spring collection with pride of the past and confidence for your journey ahead.
After an upsetting presidential defeat for a third term in 1912, Roosevelt said yes to Argentina who invited him to conduct a series of lectures in South America. He also decided to extend the trip to mark the unmapped territory of Brazil, the River of Doubt. He contacted the American Museum of Natural History and recruited a pair of naturalists and made plans to collect animal specimen during the expedition.
We named each piece in our Spring Collection after these real-life trailblazers. Roosevelt would have never survived this expedition without his Brazilian guide, the famed Colonel Candido Mariano da Silva Rondon. Rondon was known for exploring many unknown areas of Brazil and fighting for the rights of indigenous people. Without his knowledge of the Amazon and the established relationships with some villages, the men would have never made the journey alive.
Lobo was Rondon’s favorite dog, and most beloved member of the expedition. He could almost always be found by his side. Rondon was extremely tough on his men but had a sweet spot for dogs.“There was no question that Rondon cared more for these dogs than he did for his own men, or that he worried about their safety and comfort. He showered them with affection, shared his food with them, and, on one occasion, even halted a march so that they could rest” (Millard, 215).
Lobo Explorer Shorts in Grey
The men encountered many challenges along the way. By the end of the journey they had experienced starvation, malaria, wounds, and high fevers. A party had been pre-arranged by Rondon to meet them at the end of their route. The trip took a toll on Roosevelt but he was able to return to the US three weeks later. Leaving Brazil with a completed river for them to map.
Here in Roosevelt's own words he describes the naming of the River:
“The colonel read the orders reciting that by the direction of the Brazilian Government, and inasmuch as the unknown river was evidently a great river, he formally christened it the Rio Roosevelt. This was a complete surprise to me. Both Lauro Miller and Colonel Rondon had spoken to me on the subject, and I had urged, and Kermit had urged, as strongly as possible, that the name be kept as Rio da Dúvida. We felt that the “River of Doubt” was an unusually good name; and it is always well to keep a name of this character. But my kind friends insisted otherwise, and it would have been churlish of me to object longer. I was much touched by their action, and by the ceremony itself. At the conclusion of the reading Colonel Rondon led in cheers for the United States and then for me and for Kermit; and the camaradas cheered with a will. I proposed three cheers for Brazil and then for Colonel Rondon, and Lyra, and the doctor, and then for all the camaradas. Then Lyra said that everybody had been cheered except Cherrie; and so we all gave three cheers for Cherrie, and the meeting broke up in high good humor.”