Natural History from Raymond M. Sutton
He may have only been an amateur naturalist, but this author is one of the most important people in American history in terms of preserving the land's natural environment. Item 421 is Through the Brazilian Wilderness by Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt used his presidency and influence to push for the conservation of America's land and natural resources. He created several national parks, monuments and forests, protecting some 230 million acres during his presidency. As most will recall, after choosing not to seek reelection in 1908, the progressive Roosevelt became disenchanted with his hand-picked successor, William Howard Taft. As a result, he unsuccessfully opposed Taft for the Republican nomination in 1912, and then ran as an independent, coming out ahead of Taft but behind Democrat Woodrow Wilson. With time on his hands after that defeat, Roosevelt undertook a great exploration in the jungles of Brazil in 1913. With sponsorship of the American Museum of Natural History, the expedition learned much about the natural history of the area, including a trip down what is now known as Rio Roosevelt. The book is an account of this adventure in which Roosevelt contracted malaria and suffered a leg injury which almost cost him his life, and probably shortened his remaining years (he died in 1919 at the age of just 60). $320.
Item 47 is a book for orchid lovers: Orchidicae: Illustrations and Studies of the Family Orchidicae. Author Oakes Ames was the son of Massachusetts Governor Oliver Ames, but his career took a different direction. He began collecting orchids as a youth, went to Harvard, and remained there for his entire career with the botanical department. Along the way he traveled to numerous places in the world, studying and collecting orchids. His work, seven volumes published from 1905-08, was the most thorough examination of orchids at the time. The volumes in this set contain an inscription "present of Dr. Ames." $400.
Raymond M. Sutton, Jr., may be reached at 606-549-3464 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The website is www.suttonbooks.com.