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still predominated, which had stolen Europe's curiosity during the first minute of a relationship that had been made almost half a century ago. As we know, already in the year 1641, "Descubrimiento del gran Rio de las Amazonas ", by Acuna was published in Madrid. But, due to the scythe of Philip IV of Spain, this work had been destroyed, with the exception of two copies. Luckily the translation of Gomberville in 1682, made the scientific results of that memorable journey known.

Pedro Teixeira

The first major expedition of the Portuguese to the Amazon, took place when Pedro Teixeira commanded a flotilla of 45 canoes and 900 men, in the years of 1637-1639 as far as the Rio Negro. Texeiras’ boasts are equal to the heroic fantasies of Vasco da Gama and Afonso de Albuquerque. The story of this journey ("Anals do Maranhao ", by Berredo, pag. 288-322), which we had occasion to find in Belem, did not give us any geographical clarification. And prior to that account also the trip description of Father Acuna, (companion of Teixeira in the return to Quito) still a subject of Historians’ research; Although these expeditions are not yet three centuries behind us, the names of countless towns and villages that they explored no longer exist, neither on recent maps, nor in the memory of the people having already been replaced by new nomenclature. Yes, with all the unrest that those travelers encountered, in order to give greater value to their discoveries, they presented a bright picture, adorned with a many fables, which fascinated Europe, especially in that period of fantastic imagination. Now that we found ourselves in the neighborhood, everything seemed quite different. We wished to know more recent news but we only heard about the journey of the Portuguese. We learned that, in 1749, there had been a military expedition to Para, and, after a nine-month trip through the Amazon, Madeira and Guapore, had arrived at Arraial de Sao Francisco Xavier, in Mato Grosso.

Grao Para to Mato Grosso

We knew that Governor Mendonca Furtado had made, in 1754, a trip, with a great entourage, as far as Mariua, in Rio Negro, and then visited all the missions, particularly those of the Jesuits. Of the four visits, which Bishop Caetano

Bishop Brandao

Brandao had undertaken in the years of I784, 1787 and 1788, we could only obtain vague news, which did not agree at all, except in the toil with which the worthy prelate had to bear. The news was not complete about the journeys of the last commission, headed by Joao Pereira Caldas, who, accompanied by several astronomers,

"Canoe" of Joao Pereira Caldas