The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 39, July 1935 - April, 1936 Page: 102
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
hard-headed government officials to appropriate funds for the
exploration of the Amazon Valley and for the necessary negoti-
ations leading to the opening of its great river, he could with
less difficulty capture the hearts of an imaginative, simple-
minded public. The fact that the post bellum southerners re-
membered his writings is evidence of the facility with which he
accomplished the lesser task.1
At a later period Maury became fully as enthusiastic-he was
an enthusiast par excellence-about the wonders and the impor-
tance of the developments of Mexico as he had been about the
possibilities of Brazil. Indeed, soon we shall learn that early in
the post-bellum period he became the chief instrument in an am-
bitious plan to colonize thousands of southerners in Mexico.
But Maury had assistance in advertising tropical Brazil to
the southern people; and Daniel P. Kidder, a missionary who
perhaps was personally unknown to the Virginian, may be con-
sidered his chief collaborator. In Kidder's Sketches of Resi-
dence and Travels in Brazil (published in 1845), the author told
of thrilling personal experiences extending over two and a half
years' travel in nearly all the empire's provinces, and gave de-
scriptions of the many natural wonders encountered therein.
Almost every page of the two volumes gripped the attention
and stirred the souls of its readers; and the readers were not
few, for many a southern collection contained, and several still
contain, copies of the book. The romance and beauty, the habits
and customs of the dwellers in that enchanted land, made a
If through these and other sources the ante-bellum southern-
ers acquired a lively interest in Brazil, they acquired even
greater interest in the tropics of Middle America (Central
America and Mexico). If one may judge by the space which
'See indexes of De Bow's Review, the National Intelligencer, the South-
ern Literary Messenger, and the Washington Union. See also House Mise.
Doc. 22, 33 Cong., 1 sess. (serial 741); A. P. Pinto, Apontamentos par ao
Direito Internaional, II, 420; L. F. Hill, Diplomatio Relations between
the United States and Brazil, 239ff.
'Many of those who went to Brazil during the late sixties acknowledged
the influence of Kidder's book. Eliza Kerr Shippey, who wrote "When
Americans were Emigrants," an article which appeared in a Kansas City
paper, June 16, 1912, is a conspicuous example. A copy of the article
was furnished the writer by D. R. Keyes, another emigrant now living
at Clearwater, Florida.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 39, July 1935 - April, 1936, periodical, 1936; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101095/m1/116/: accessed January 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.